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Where to work?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by ringytail, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. ringytail

    ringytail New Member

    I don't have a convenient place to do taxidermy. I'm currently in the San Francisco bay area. Are there workshops I could rent that would be ok with this kind of work?
  2. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Over the years I've done taxidermy in military barracks, motel rooms, metal sheds, basements, garages, and even kitchen tables. Just depends on how committed you are to doing it.

  3. Tenbears

    Tenbears Member

    I rented a storage locker back in the 60s when stationed at Little Creek anfib, base. was stationed on a ship and they frown upon doing taxidermy on board. worked out for me!
  4. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I started out doing it in a studio apt. in a high rise. All you need is a small table, plastic totes/ shelves and a sink, besides hand tools.
  5. ringytail

    ringytail New Member

    I'd do it at home, but I haven't told one of my housemates yet and I'm afraid he might object to the sight or scent of it if I did it in the house. I suppose I might as well ask him though.

    I could do it in a storage locker. A little afraid the managers might find out and tell me I can't use it as a work space.

    I haven't done any of this before, so I don't know how bad it's gonna smell or how obvious it's gonna be to everyone around :p.
  6. I would ask your roomates.. I have been doing it for years in various apartments that my husband and I have/had. The smallest space I had was a closet that was about 4 foot by 8 foot.. it worked okay. It did have a small window that I fanned out of for ventilation; I never worked on anything larger than a raccoon there though, and nothing very odorous.

    More important than actual skinning/salting (if possible) is the matter of rinsing hides, I have found. I use our bathtub (thankful for a tolerant spouse; lol) and I use a wire basket-type thing to prevent hairs and fur from going down the drain. That can lead to a clog Fast (I know!) Your waste liquids (pickling agents, liquid tan) need to be disposed of properly too; another thing to think of. Properly prepared hides should not shed out too much hair, but I have worked with dicey ones and had hair messes.

    Smells... Generally, I found that most critters won't leave a smell that is too horrible once you clean everything up (I use bleach for cleaning my tabletop, racks and tubs.) Coyote, mink and of course skunk would be worse.. mink in particular. Any critter could emit foul odors, especially if you nick an intestine with your blade though; better to assume that most will or can.

    Maybe rent out an art studio that is private, with a sink. It's really nobody's business what are you are making in my opinion; it should already be hard floor (not carpeting) and maybe even equipped with ventilation if it is set up for airbrushing, etc.

    Or just start out with smaller critters like squirrel, at home. I lived near SF for a time; I know that sometimes, travel time is daunting and if it were a matter of having to travel to a studio or work from home, home would be preferable. If your roomies have a big problem with the possibility, explain that it is not very, very far removed from working with raw chicken, beef or other store meats. If they are vegan or vegetarian.. I don't know.
  7. ringytail

    ringytail New Member

    Thanks Jen for all the suggestions. I got to work tonight in a tiny storage closet that comes with my apartment. No power in there, so I couldn't set up a fan, but it worked out ok. I described the experience here.

    I like the art studio idea. I'll see if I can find something like that.

    So um, what do you do about disposing of pickling agents then?
  8. ringytail

    ringytail New Member

    Nope, didn't work out. He hated the idea.

    Where can I find a studio? I'm not sure how to look.