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Woodland Park

Introduction to Small Mammal Taxidermy: Mink

Join us for this beginner-level exclusive opportunity to explore the captivating art of small mammal taxidermy.

Introduction to Small Mammal Taxidermy: Mink
Introduction to Small Mammal Taxidermy: Mink

Time & Location

Contact us for Scheduling

Woodland Park, 192 Lackawanna Ave, Woodland Park, NJ 07424, USA

About the program

About the program 

Course Overview:

Class Size:

Private 1-on-1 sessions

Level:

Novice – Suitable for beginners, no experience required.

Subject:

American Mink (Neovison vison) -  The American mink, a semi-aquatic carnivore native to North America, is known for its sleek fur and agile swimming abilities. Highly adaptable and territorial, these mustelids play a vital role in the ecosystem as efficient hunters. These specimens are perfectly suited for novice taxidermists.

All specimens utilized by INHA are sustainably and ethically sourced, ensuring environmental responsibility and ethical standards are upheld throughout our practices.

Schedule:

4 days of intensive learning, from 9 am to 4pm each day

As this class offers a personalized one-on-one experience, please get in touch with us to arrange a schedule that suits you best. We look forward to coordinating a time that works for both parties.

Course Outline:

Day 1: Introduction to Specimen Preparation

Health & Safety

  • Overview of how to protect yourself from common dangers associated with working with specimens.

Tools  & Supplies

  • Develop an understanding of the basic tools and materials required for the course including how to properly use and maintain them.

Accurate Measurements and Documentation

  • Learn to take precise measurements, detailed notes, and create sketches from a fresh mink specimen.

Skinning and Preparing the Specimen for Tanning

  • Overview of different incisions and skinning methods.
  • Engage in professional techniques for turning, fleshing, and salting the skin.

Preparation for Tanning

  • Ready the skin for either shipment to a commercial tannery or in-house preservation.

Commercial Foam Forms

  • Selecting the best materials and judging the quality of commercial forms.
  • How to order the correct form and materials for your project.

Day 2: Preparing the Skin for Mounting (Student resumes course after the skin has been tanned)

Post-Tanning Preparation

  • Thinning down the leather, turning facial details, and repairing any damage.

Fitting the Skin to the Form

  • Properly fitting the skin on the form and making necessary alterations for a perfect fit.

Correcting Anatomical Issues and Enhancing Forms

  • Techniques for correcting anatomical problems and enhancing commercial forms through sculpting.

Preparing the Foam Form for Mounting

  • Priming the surface and choosing the best hide glues.

Creating the Tail Form

  • Using the historic method of cotton-wrapped wire while exploring alternative methods commonly used.

Day 3: Mounting the Specimen

Step-by-Step Mounting Process

  • Properly setting eyes and using clay to adjust final features and expressions.
  • Taxiing the skin onto the form and aligning hair patterns.
  • Sewing up incisions.

Creating a Simple Habitat

  • Placing the specimen onto a simple habitat, pinning it in place, and grooming it to dry.

Day 4: Finishing Touches (Student resumes course after the mount is dry, a minimum of 1 week)

Post-Drying Finishing Process

  • Cleaning fur, grooming, and rebuilding soft tissue.
  • Restoring color to areas of exposed skin.

Introduction to Tools, Methods, and Materials

  • Various tools, methods, and materials used in the finishing process.
  • Ensuring the final piece is polished and professional.

Note: The schedule may be subject to slight adjustments based on class progress and participant needs.

What INHA Will Provide:

  • A quality, prime mink specimen.
  • 1-on-1 personal instruction with George Dante.
  • Use of the studio space, including all necessary materials and tools.
  • The opportunity to take home a finished piece at the end of the session.
  • · Private studio access with the use of all necessary tools and supplies needed for the class.

Payments Plans are available.

Please contact our office for more information.

About the Instructor:

George A. Dante, Jr. is the founder of George Dante Studios, Wildlife Preservations, and the Institute for Natural History Arts. With over 40 years of experience as a taxidermist, sculptor, model maker, illustrator, and fine artist, George has dedicated his life to the arts and natural history. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York and has received numerous awards for his work. Additionally, he is an NTA certified judge, instructor, professional consultant, and author, and was recently elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London.

George's companies, Wildlife Preservations and George Dante Studios, are renowned for their expertise in natural history exhibit services, specializing in museum taxidermy, dioramas, and the restoration of historic specimens. His clients include the American Museum of Natural History, The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Harvard University, National Geographic, Oxford University, The Field Museum, US Fish & Wildlife Service, and the USDA.

Class Policies:

  • Please arrive 15m prior the class commencement. If you are running late, please call us at (973)-890-1516 and let us know.
  • By signing up for our classes, you recognize the risks associated with these classes—working with sharp tools and practicing safe specimen handling.
  • You agree to follow the instructor’s advice and will not hold the instructor or venue liable for harm.
  • For your safety and to accommodate studio policy, no food is allowed during classes. Drinks in a container with a lid are permitted.
  • There is a break room available equipped with a microwave and coffee machine if you want to bring your own lunch and stay in the studio during lunch time. If you prefer to leave, there are many nearby restaurants and fast-food chains.
  • Due to Covid 19 policies, social distance and the use of masks will be based on community guidelines.
  • You will receive an email with a release form and a waiver. Documents must be signed and returned to INHA prior the class.

Cancellation Policies:

  • Cancellations 15 days prior to your class date will incur a 25% service charge, and the remaining amount will be transferred as credit for the next event.
  • Cancellations 8 to 14 days of your class date will incur a 50% service charge, and the remaining amount will be transferred as credit for the next event.
  • Please note that cancellations within 7 days of the class are neither refundable nor transferable to another event.
  • Refunds are only available if an event is postponed, rescheduled, or relocated by the Institute for Natural History Arts. In this case, your ticket(s) remain valid, and no further action is necessary. However, if you're unable to attend the event on the new date, you can request a refund to your original payment method or retain the amount as credit for future events.

Payments Plans are available.

Please contact our office for more information.

Registration

  • Small Mammal Taxidermy - Mink

    $2,750.00
    +$68.75 service fee

Total

$0.00

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