My tagline these days is "I'll take anything without a heartbeat." I surround myself with death, but I feel that in working with death I am breathing new life into the animals I find. It's a beautiful, intimate process that I put my whole heart into.
Now halfway between life and death, they're all Half Embalmed...
This obsession turned career started the day I hit a squirrel with my car. It was the first animal I had ever run over. I pulled over and looked at him, he was clearly dead. I saw a story in his lifeless eyes, a life that I wanted to bring back. I cried for a bit and then thought "I might as well not let him go to waste" and drove home with him.
I started practicing taxidermy on my dining room table and became obsessed with reanimating these lifeless animal bodies. As a taxidermist I get to know each individual animal very intimately and it forms a bond. Opening up and seeing the inside of the animals I pick up is about as intimate as you can get. I see their hearts, their eyes, beautiful markings on the fur that no one else may have ever noticed. I never let any part go to waste. When not creating full taxidermy mounts I make jewelry and hair fascinators with paws, wings, bones and any parts I have left. I became a proud working member of the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists and follow their strict ethical guidelines. No animals are ever harmed or killed to create my pieces.
I began to crave more and expanded my business into preserving museum quality wet specimens, mounting insects, and bone cleaning with dermestid beetles. I quickly outgrew the dining room where it all started and now have happily moved into a large studio space with room for every part of my business.
I continue to be inspired every day when I'm working and Half Embalmed will continue to expand and evolve as I do.
You can visit my Etsy store to purchase items or follow me on Facebook and Instagram. I also occasionally blog about my adventures in Taxidermy.
Simone attended Humboldt State University with a certificate in Musuem and Gallery Practices and atteded the Missouri Taxidermy Institute. She is a current member of the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists and the National Taxidermists Association.
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