From Victorian curiosity cabinets to Coney Island sideshows, gaff making has held it's place in history, and our hearts. This class will teach students of all levels everything they need to know about proper taxidermy technique for very delicate specimen-like chicks. We will go over the details that make a gaff truly convincing-or comical! Students are encouraged to get creative. Having been commissioned to work on natural oddities (like two faced or 'Janus' kittens) and supernatural freaks (many conjoined chick gaffs), the instructor will draw upon her experience to help students create memorable mounts.
Students will learn everything involved in the production of a fully finished taxidermy mount, including initial preparation, hygiene and sanitary measures, fleshing, and dry preservation. Forms will be built using the tried and true traditional method of wrapped body (more advanced students will have the option of carving a body) and various techniques will be presented for attaching the second head, with techniques that make a gaff seamless. Once properly preserved, the chicks can be posed and outfitted as the student desires. Although a selection of props and accessories will be provided by the instructor, students are also welcome to bring their own accessories and bases; all other materials will supplied. As always, all specimen are ethically sourced. The chicks used in this class are naturally deceased or would be otherwise discarded from the reptile feeder or pet food industry.
Each student will leave class with a fully finished piece, and the knowledge to create their own pieces in the future.
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. After a journey through self and professional training, she has found her calling in creating sickly sweet and sparkly critters. A trophy winner in the 2013 Philadelphia Alt Taxidermy competition, she has been profiled in numerous publications as varied as National Geographic, The NY Times, BBC Science Radio, Vice/Fringes, and on hit Discovery/Science Channel TV show Oddities. She is also a member of the M.A.R.T. (Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists) and the G.S.T.A. (Garden State Taxidermists Association). You can find out more at http://www.friendsforevertaxidermy.com