In this beginner’s class, students will learn everything about basic insect or arachnid preparation and preservation-choose to work on a beautiful butterfly or an elegant spider. Great for kids and adults! Students will select from a variety of responsibly sourced specimens (there will be plenty of each specimen so there will be something unique for everyone). We will discuss harvesting and drying specimen, rehydrating dried specimen, and in class we will practice handling techniques, spreading, mounting, the nuances of posing, display, and maintenance. An assortment of humanely sourced specimen in various sizes, and shapes will be provided. Students will learn how to put together and maintain their own rehydration chamber, things to check for during all stages of the process to ensure a clean and successful end product, and tips for gentle handling. Students will also build their very own spreading boards for use in class and beyond. We will also cover how to select museum quality materials for displays.
All specimen are sustainably sourced. We will be reviewing the origins of the assorted insects used in class, how students can ethically and legally source specimen, and suggested, reputable suppliers.
Students go home with their own prepared insect or arachnid specimen, an extra specimen to work on at home, a spreading board that can be used for future projects, a simple display case, and the knowledge to create their own pieces in the future. It is recommended students bring a small bag or box to transport their pieces.
Divya Anantharaman is a Morbid Anatomy Museum Taxidermist in Residence and a Brooklyn based artist whose taxidermy practice was sparked by a lifelong fascination with the intersection of natural mythology and science. With a combination of self and professional training, she has found her calling working as a professional taxidermist creating both fantasy and traditional pieces, and teaching classes around the world. Winner of Best in Show trophies and Best in Category ribbons at state taxidermy shows and competitions, her work is on display in the Chamber of Wonders at the Walter’s Art Museum, and has been profiled in numerous publications as varied as National Geographic, The NY Times, The Cut, Vice, BBC Science Radio, and on hit Discovery/Science Channel TV show Oddities. She is also a board member of the New England Association of Taxidermists, member of the Garden State Taxidermists Association, and has coauthored the book “Stuffed Animals” being released by W.W. Norton this fall. You can find out more at www.friendsforevertaxidermy.com