About Beth Beverly
I am a State and Federally licensed taxidermist who graduated from the Pocono Institute of Taxidermy in 2010 with high marks. I have a deep respect for this craft and those who strive to preserve it.
It is my pleasure to work on any trophy mount, be it a shoulder, life-size, rug, or fish.
I accept custom orders for fantasy mounts, wearables, and bridal hair pieces.
Sculptural mounts and hats are available for rental provided they are in stock at time of inquiry.
Contact me describing your wish and I will be delighted to make it so.
Diamond Tooth Taxidermy Blog:
Sun, Apr 10 2016 10:44 | fur, home goods, hungarian, luxury, romania, sheep, sheepskin, shepherd, transylvania
Meet Kifli the cat, she is the mascot to my Transylvania life. Here she is pulling her best calendar kitty pose amongst a bed of sheep and rabbit furs.
In the last 15 months my life has taken me into a direction leading to all things Hungarian. This can be traced to the Hungarian man I met and fell head over heels in love with who lives in a small city near Brasov in Transylvania. It's technically in Romania but for all intents and purposes the people, animals, and culture I am discussing here are strictly Hungarian.
When driving around over there it's impossible not to see herds of sheep from the road. Shepherds and the flocks they maintain are a major part of the culture and traditions in Transylvania. Sheep are raised for meat, cheese and fiber products; many villagers, during the Spring and Summer months, will send their sheep off with professional herders who tend to them and take them over vast green spaces to graze. The villagers know that their animals are well cared for and when the shepherds bring them back they also get some cheese!
I'm oversimplifying this two way relationship and how beneficial it is to all parties involved, including the land. To read more, check out this very elegantly worded piece written by Paul White on his website Wild Transylvania: Walking with Shepherds.
The man who brought me to this enchanting part of the world has familial ties to sheep keepers, butchers, and even the tanners. Through my visits with him I've gotten to see (as well as smell, touch and taste!) parts of this full circle first hand. Here are some hides I brought back from my last trip:
Now let me back up to my trip. Here is the view from the courtyard at the tannery. It's run by a family near Brasov and they live on the premises which are deceptively sprawling.
One of the hide rooms. This guy is busy. Cows, wild boars, sheep, goats, rabbits, all byproducts of food sourcing.
More hides. You may notice some non traditional game furs here and there, like fox and mink, beaver, etc. I'm honestly not sure if those specimen are used for food or not (in the U.S. it's frowned upon to eat some of these critters but I know in parts of the world fox meat is completely acceptable) so I am choosing to focus on the sheep, as this is what I have become somewhat intimate and familiar with.
Part of the tannery serves as a sewing and crafting studio for manufacturing hats and garments. As you will see, sheepskins are ubiquitous in this part of the world, and for good reason:it gets really, really cold in Transylvania. Therefore sheepskins are on car seats, work seats, beds, floors next to beds, couches, basically anything you put your butt on. And they work! I am amazed at the heat one hide can generate when sat upon. This is also why they make such good hats and coats.
Another sewing machine in his studio, also with a seat covered in sheepskin. You may notice there is no shortage of appreciation for the female form here.
Hat blocks for days. A multidisciplinary Renaissance man, this one.
Some examples of his millinery craftsmanship:
A leather sewing machine, the type which I have been coveting since my first trip over there last year. These heavy little wizards make joining fur and leather into tidy little seams a snap.
Needless to say, I have been completely overwhelmed with inspiration and the timing couldn't be more ideal as I've been wanting to take my craft, and Diamond Tooth, into a more luxury fur goods direction. While I've stepped back somewhat from all the taxidermy I was once so immersed in I've had time to recalibrate my thoughts on what part of creating brings me pleasure, and I'm exploring the joys of tactile art. I love working with materials that are nice to touch and have always been intoxicated by the feeling of fur on my skin. Perhaps this is the time to explore more luxury home goods pieces, along with the couture hats, bags and wearables I have made my mark with. All this is to say I brought home an entire suitcase full of fur and have listed a few for sale on my Etsy page. I am also going to create a queen sized bed set (bed spread and two pillows) out of sheepskin and see what kind of interest it generates. Stay tuned!
For now, if you're keen on having a piece of an age old Hungarian tradition in your own home, please don't hesitate to check out these items I've listed for sale now, like this lush black hide:
Black Tsigai Sheep on Etsy
Or this soft as a cloud Butter Pecan Hide:
Maybe Chocolate Spots suit your home better:
Perhaps a small Oreo Crumble hide for your child's bed:
Try not to take your clothes off and roll around on this cream and coffee spotted hide:
These last two hides aren't for sale; they were gifted to me by my new in-laws and may be subject to future colorant experimentation!
If solid creamy white is your preference, I got you covered there too: