Thursday, February 16, 2012

Antlers and taxidermy

A couple of weeks ago my pal Erin of Bows and Sparrows hosted a craft night with our group of crafty friends.  Whoever hosts the night picks  the craft, which usually takes a few hours to complete and then you get to go home with a completed project.

If you haven't heard, painted antlers are the next big thing.  At least that's what we're hoping.  West Elm should be calling any minute now for the rights to these photos.

My naturally shed antler pre-paint

Antlers and wine!

My sad little paint tray

Oh this?  Yeah, I painted it myself
An example of good antler painting form.

Antler colours inspired by E's shirt

Crafty lineup

D, working hard on her project

Erin has more photos on her blog if you're interested in antler overload.

And if antlers aren't cutting it for you, may I suggest a visit to Foster's Bighorn in Rio Vista.  It's a nice afternoon drive along the river between Sacramento and San Francisco.  The bar and restaurant is covered wall to wall with stunned taxidermied animals put together in the 30s and 40s as well as amazing, can't-look-away photos of vintage hunting expeditions 

One of my favourite sad stories with an accompanying photograph is of the wolf who was shot in the jaw.  The wolf was still living, just unable to attack.  The hunter needed to get back up a hill so he held the wolf by its tail and had the animal drag him to the top.  

Sad and creepy but so interesting.  The day V and I visited in September 2010, I had a massive headache but after seeing the fate of these animals and having a beer I felt pretty lucky to only be suffering from a headache.

Photo by amenfoto

Apparently they have one of the world's largest collections of taxidermied animals with over 300 heads.  They don't just have your usual specimens, they have everything.  Giraffes, lions, elephants, rhinoceros' and wolves.  Or maybe these are usual things to taxidermy.  What do I know?  I just paint antlers pretty colours.

The dining room, photo by thomashawklooklook


  1. Oh dear, I don't think I could eat in that restaurant with all those eyes staring down at me. I'm sure it must have bad karma......that is easily the spookiest place I have ever seen...!

  2. Post a photo of the finished antlers! Btw, where would one pick up these antlers for crafts?

  3. the shabby antler offers antlers for sale