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A well-made taxidermy piece by itself will look good. But to take the work to the next level, a well decorated taxidermy base or stand is required. In fact some taxidermy stands in their own right could be considered beautiful.
All the items listed below do have artificial versions which can be bought. However, this article will show some of the other methods of creating your own stands, bases and foliage.
One method for preserving leaves is by first taking those leaves and covering them in sand. This should help to dry out the leaves by leaving them there for some time. However, once the leaves have dried out they will have usually lost their color and be very fragile. Because of this you need to be careful when handling the leaves and applying the paints to recolor those leaves.
This process is similar to leaves. To find moss, look for damp and dark areas such as near streams and ponds. Trees will often have lichen on the side shielded away from the sun but only in areas where the air quality is good. Take the moss and place it in an area of sun until it has fully dried. This may cause a loss of color and so a thin application of paint may be required. The underside of the moss can then be stuck onto the base or taxidermy stand.
If you have basic woodworking skills then a T-perch can be created quite quickly. This is ideal for displaying large birds such as eagles.
If there is no intention that the taxidermy work is going to be transported, then simply finding a local rock is the best option. However, if the piece if likely to be moved around and shipped then using papier-mâché or plaster of Paris is the next best option. If you are creating a large rock then first create a wire frame of the desired shape. Ensure there is enough wires around the shape so that no large gaps are present. The papier mache and plaster of Paris can then be applied on top of this wireframe. Once this has dried, first paint the rock with an under layer of color and wait for it to dry. Next paint over with the secondary layer which adds more depth and shades rock. Finally, with the third application of paint to add details and specs using a fine brush.
The best way of doing this is to take a dead and dried out branch. It is important to test the strength of the branch as you do not want something that is brittle. With the appropriate wood chosen, use a large base and drill a hole into it from which you can fasten and firmly secure the wood to the base. Additions such as nests and eggs add further details to the surroundings.
A snow scene can set you work apart from other taxidermy pieces. Artificial snow can be bought on its own or alternatively you can create your own home made version:
-Take an ounce of pulverized glue
-Mix this with 4 ounces of whiting putty and boiling water.
-Once this has cooled apply this to where you want the snow to appear and add some Mica flakes.
* -Get some pieces of glass tubing
* -Get ready a hot flame (a gas stove will do) and some wire
* -Heat one end of the glass tube and also heat the wire in the flame
* -Once they are both read hot, twist them together
* -Allow to cool for a short while
* -Place the flame on the tubing once again, this time an inch further along from the wire.
* -Once the glass softens from the heat, use the wire to the pull the cold side of the tube and stretch the glass.
* -Continue doing this until the glass becomes smaller and smaller and eventually melts off into a point just like the shape of an icicle.
Want to learn more? Click here to check out Taxidermy Made Easy and discover some even more advanced techniques!