Squirrely eyes

Submitted by Rich on 7/7/99. ( )

I've mounted up several squirrels and was wondering how to get that "pumped up" look on squirrel eyes.It seems that when i use hollow bubble eyes and clay around them and the rodent dries, the eyes seem to look buggy.Is there a way to eleviate this problem? -Rich

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Squirrel Eyes

This response submitted by George Roof on 7/7/99. ( georoof@aol.com )

I hope I'm not being presumptious, but are you inletting the HB eyes? They should be set in until only a little over half of them are exposed outside the form. Then a small string of potters clay around them is usually sufficient to make a realistic looking eye. I use John David Elzey's squirrels and I usually buy them direct from him. He sells a black squirrel eye that has a slightly lighter pupil and gives the animal a lifelike look. It looks just like the standard glass eye you use for birds and fits his forms well without inletting. He also sells tails for both gray and fox squirrels.


This response submitted by Rich on 7/7/99. ( )

I am doing all that but the lids don't seem puffy enough,i'm wondering if i should try to inject them with formaldehyde.

You Have Some Work To Do...

This response submitted by John Bellucci on 7/7/99. ( Artist Expr@aol.com )

Hi Rich,

Sounds like you may not be splitting the eyelids enough, if at all. If left unsplit, they will shrink down and loose that plump lifelike look they should have.

Then the split eyelids can be "tucked into the clay as you would do for deer ... OR ... you could line the split eyelids with Critter Clay, for example, squeeze the eyelid skin down on the clay, then mount the eyelids around the glass eyes.

Now, a note here. Squirrels DO NOT have all black eyes! Yikes! They have a chocolate brown eye with a horizontally set oval pupil. Tohickon makes a superb glass eye for squirrels with these specifications. Wayne Coopers' brown "Flex-Eyes" for mallards, are also a good choice as they have a somewhat oval pupil.

For mannikins, allow me to recommend the Lockit-Socket Squirrel mannikins sold by WASCO. They are anatomically correct, and very easy to work with. The legs are made in flexible foam, and are separate from the body for ease of assembly, and for correct anatomy after assembly. Yes, I sculpted them, so of course I would recommend them ... but they're also just a darn good product, and are anatomically accurate.

Avoid the bubble eyes at all costs ... they are a headache! Use a good flat-backed glass eye made for squirrels and you won't go wrong.

Also, if you want a really in-depth video on squirrel taxidermy, then try "The Secrets of Quality Squirrel Taxidermy", also sold by WASCO. I made the tape with them and it is just chock full of information!

Keep on truckin', and best success to you ... John B.

Thanks John

This response submitted by Rich on 7/8/99. ( rnewfroc@nycc.edu )

Thanks,you hit it right on the nail,i was'nt splitting the eyes on squirrels because i was told by a rinky dink not to.So that's why your squirrels look so good!Not to jump the subject John but would you happen to know where i could get a black phase fox squirrel?

Black Phase Fox Squirrels ...

This response submitted by John Bellucci on 7/8/99. ( ArtistExpr@aol.com )

Sorry Rich, but I sold off the last one of those I had. I had three, and I sold off two, and I really want to keep the last one for myself. Try contacting someone in Wisconsin, that's where I got mine from! Best of luck to you. (I tried to send this in an e-mail, but it was returned as "undeliverable")

Best regards to you and yours ... John B.

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