Submitted by rick on 8/28/99. ( ) 188.8.131.52
A nature center I do taxidermy for has some deer mice to add to it;s mammal collection any tips or techniques on mounting these little guys? any advice would be greatly appreciated
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This response submitted by Mark on 8/28/99. ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) 184.108.40.206
Your best bet is to find someone to freezedry them because of the small size. Conventional mounting of mice is not practical by any means. Good luck, Mark
This response submitted by John Bellucci on 8/29/99. ( ArtistExpr@aol.com ) 220.127.116.11
You know, long before there were readily available freeze dry machines -- and yes I am talking about 20-25 years ago -- we mounted mice conventionally! And with great success, I might add. For anyone to say conventional mounting is not practical by any means, shows the lack of experience of that party, and is furthest from the truth.
All you need to be aware of, is the fact that these mammals are small, their skins can be somewhat delicate down at the wrists and ankles, and their limb bones are fragile if handled too roughly.
To start, create a death mask mold using Alginate. This is then filled with Bondo, thinned with fiberglass resin (polyester resin), and add the catalyst, then into which a wire is held until the mixture cures. This will give you a headform! With either a Dremel Motor Tool or a Foredom Tool, simply grind down the hair details, and route-out the eye sockets and a lip slot. Use appropriate size bubble eyes.
The body can either be wrapped, or carved out of foam. My choice is wrapping out of Jeweler's Tow (available from Van Dyke's), as this gives more flexibility in posing the mount.
The leg-bones can be wrapped with either tow or non-sterile cotton. Toes and feet are injected as with a small bird, using either Polytranspar Fin Backing crean, or one of the foot-injection mixes out there.
The tail can either be skinned or injected, or best yet ... molded and reproduced!
It's no more involved than any other small creature, and if you want to sit down and tackle something this small ... then more power to you! When I was starting out, I mounted many mice, as the lessons I was taking suggested trying them to sharpen one's skills. I still believe this. One of my best early pieces was someones' pet white mouse!
Lastly, don't forget the references, and enjoy!
Best of luck to you ... John B.
This response submitted by rick on 8/31/99. ( ) 18.104.22.168
thank you john your advice was exactlly what I was looking for Leon Pray rules!
This response submitted by k on 10/15/99. ( ) 22.214.171.124
i carve a bodey out of foam and inject the feet with preservative i use black pin heads for eyes but the ears tend to shrivle.
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