E R I N N P A V E S E
Celebrating Domestic Life
Roque Taxidermy & Skull Preservation
A little about me...
Growing up in Sonoma County, I have always felt the most at home amongst tall trees, fertile gardens, and animals wild and domestic roaming freely. I love being surrounded by nature and discovering all of its little mysteries along the way. Never boring, and always inspiring! In this time where it seems that everything has been exposed or broadcast before, it's a thrill for me to dive into nature, where it seems different everytime. I love that I'll never have enough time to see it all, to never get bored with my impatient mind. Still an exploring kid at heart, I impulsively still try and touch everything I see the moment it peeks my interests. I can't help it. It's really fun!
The animals incorporated into my work are all sourced from domestically bred and farm-raised, "for-food", bi-products only. Absolutely no animals were taken for the sole purpose of making this art.
23" H x 9" W
RABBIT, DUCK, QUAIL & TURKEY
17" H x 12" W
DUCK, RABBIT, TURKEY & QUAIL
14 H x 9" W
Selected Past Works
SKULL & BONE WORKS
Rendered Works Of Complete Domestic Skulls
The domestic pig is very common place in supermarkets as well as local farmer's markets today. Though they can be pricey, one can find a split or whole head to render quite easily. The pig, being naturally fatty, is an animal that can take what seems like forever to degrease. It can be a labor intensive process to do, and can take a few months to really see if all of the grease will stop leaching from the bone with time. However, with that being said, the pig is an awesome specimen. It has several shapes of large teeth, and bone that changes in texture throughout the skull from a hard, flat texture, to an incredibly porous one that is very sponge-like looking. In addition to that, it has some amazing nasal coral that looks like rolled scrolls of paper. Beautiful!
Rabbit skulls are one of the most unique and beautiful skulls I render. Rabbits have delicate, lace-like bones in their skulls, features of which, I haven't seen elsewhere. There is a large market for rabbits in the culinary world today it seems, and there are many different domestic breeds available. One of my personal favorites are the Flemish Giants. (The largest one pictured above) Also available at times are the very challenging to render juvenile rabbits. Due to their high natural mortality rates, the young kits are sometimes repurposed and sold for high-end reptile food.
DOMESTIC GOOSE & TURKEY
These seasonal beauties are some of the largest of the domestic fowl breeds available. One can find them through heritage breeders that sell their meats through farmer's markets or restaurants. These big birds are lovely to work with. As they are generally mature birds, their skulls are well formed, and do not separate easily with boiling or handling.
DOMESTIC CHICKENS, PARTIDGES, PHEASANTS AND QUAIL
If you can find these, you have found some amazing stuff! For some reason, these sometimes common domestically raised and processed breeds have heads that are hard to locate. Often unavailable, you must constantly ask the farmers to save them, or tell their processors to keep them. More often than not, they disappear, leaving even the farmer to scratch their head as to why. If anyone out there knows where to find fifty pounds of chicken heads, let me know! These are awesome little birds with amazing delicate bone structures.
Give yourself up, bones and all.
(i.e. take a chance)
-South African Ndebele Saying
If you're looking to learn more about bone building or collecting pieces of your own, there are some great resources out there. It can be a great hobby, and educational experience. In addtion, there are a lot of amazing taxidermists and artists doing great work out there to inspire you!
IMPORTANT! Before you buy or sell anything, especially through the internet, make sure that you can legally do so. Federal and state laws prohibit all kinds of sales of certain species, so it is very important to know your state's laws, as well as the federal acts that protect certain species nationally. Contacting your state's fish and wildlife agencies can help answer most questions you have before you move ahead with a project or purchase.
If you live in CA like me, you'll really have to be very careful of what you buy. Unlike the rest of the nation, there is so much more here we are NOT allowed to buy, and that is why it is important to visit a shop where they are experts in the laws of animal product sales already. Especially if your taste is for things that came once form the wild, you must be sure you're lawfully purchasing an animal that can be posessed. Generally speaking, avoid animal purchases from flea markets and private seller's whom aren't experts in the laws. I have seen a ton of "no-no" animal stuff out there. Though the sellers aren't trying to sell goods illegally, they just don't know that the laws say they can't sell what they took with a permit. California in short "owns" its habitat, and does not want anyone capitalizing and profiting from it without regulation. This is all done from with the intention of protecting our native habiitats of all types whether it be flora or fauna related. California laws can be very complicated, and are ever changing, so below are some great resources to get started with your bone work, and a clear conscious.
Some of my favorite stores with great products that are also walk-in stores are:
located in San Francisco - Great selections of bones and antique medical oddites. Yes, it was the very same one where "Oddities", my favorite show was filmed!
in Berkeley - Gigantic selection of human and animal bones. It is heaven for those whom adore osteology! CORRECTION!- THIS STORE IS NOW ONLINE ONLY
Hollywood CA - Great selections and awesome prices. They have some taxidermy items that are pretty neat and affordable too!
in San Francisco This store is limited on bones, but has great taxidermy and science nerd stuff I love too. Pricey, but gorgeous and inspiring!
If you're interested in rendering yourself, getting started can be the hardest part, as there are many ways to render bone. It can be too daunting to learn over the internet via YouTube, and frankly some of the information is just bad. To start with your best foot, I would recommend buying one or more of the manuals created by Lee Post. This man is the "godfather" of bone prep! He offers all types of explanations of different rendering techniques as well as experienced problem solving. The man has literally rearticulated and cleaned every animal on the planet! I can't recommend his books enough.
Taxidermy Artists I Love Worth Checking Out
Ryan Matthew Cohn known previously from the"Oddities" tv show on the Science Channel, is one of the most amazing osteological artist I've ever seen. With a background in jewelry making, he painstakingly constructs his pieces with brass, human and animal skeletal bones into scientifically-based, art masterpieces. His real, human and animal Beauchene skulls are absolutely amazing!
Sarina is one of the founders of the "rouge-taxidermy" movement. She creates an array of amazing little creatures that essentially have swapped body parts with each other to form new creatures. Though they are very whimsical and fun, her craftsmanship is dedicated to detail.
These are just a couple of names, but there are so many awesome artists out there working with bone and hide-based taxidermy. So if you're on the look out for more inspiration, check out the book, "Taxidermy Art" by Robert Marbury. This is a great book that gives a present day look at the large spectrum of art-based taxidermists out there. In addition to introducing you to a ton of artist's, it's also a great source book for taxidermy techniques and questions.
Thank you for your interest. For any inquiries, commission requests, or to share your own work, please feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from you!
PO Box2100 Santa Rosa CA 95405