From hidden-in-the-garage to walk-in showcases, taxidermy is art the avid hunter and wildlife enthusiast can both enjoy. Coming from the Greek taxis which means “arrangement” and derm which means “skin,” taxidermy is the art of mounting and replicating animal specimens in a lifelike display.
Layland Museum and Harlequin Taxidermy are offering free to the public Taxidermy 101, a general walk through of the process for anyone who has ever wanted to know how to mount a bird. Jonathan Stanley will present the workshop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 7 with a noon to 1 p.m. lunch break [lunch is on one’s own].
The workshop consists of the following in the morning: skinning, washing, drying, and mannequin preparation. In the afternoon, mounting, grooming, habitat, and design composition will be taught. The workshop will be limited to 12 people so that the audience may ask questions. The workshop will be held upstairs in the Board Room at the Layland.
Jonathan Stanley grew up in a hunting and fishing family in Cleburne, so he has always had access to all kinds of game birds. As a child he became interested in these birds and did his first mount at age 10. His mother did not enjoy the many dead birds he put in the freezer. He continued to study everything about birds, drawing and mounting them until his birds began to look life-like. His brothers began to ask him to mount their trophies.
To his surprise other people actually liked his work and were willing to pay for the service, although he specializes in just birds, mainly waterfowl. He now has twenty years of experience. Stanley enjoys creating habitat bases for mounts and some animation, adding that touch of creativity to each bird. He does work for Fort Worth and Dallas museums and has offered to help the Layland Museum create a skin collection for local citizens and Scout groups to study. He has won awards for his work.
To see examples of Stanley’s work, look up www.harlequintaxidermy.com. To reserve a place in the workshop or for more information, call the Museum at 817-645-0940. Harlequin and Layland have partnered to provide this service in order to enhance home life in Johnson County.