I pick up roadkill animals. OK? I’m out of the closet with it now. I’ve been doing so for years. Food and fur. This is my second skunk skin. He was in the outdoor freezer for about a year until I skinned him a month or so ago. Most skunks release their odor when hit on the road. But once in a while one will get bopped on the head and not have time to release its musk oil out into the world.
I’ve got skins of squirrels, raccoons, a fox, a beautiful bobcat, a weasel, and a white spotted baby deer skin. I love the idea of taking something that’s otherwise going to rot on the road, and turning it into a beautiful object.
Technique: I skin the animal, stretch the skin on a piece of plywood tack it down, cover it with salt, and then in a week, ship it UPS to a tanning guy in Pennsylvania. Six weeks later I get back (via UPS) a tanned skin. This one was surprisingly pretty, glossy and rich.
Also, I collect skulls and bones, mostly in the woods, sometimes on the beach, and clean and bleach them. Bones fascinate me. Nature is a marvelous designer and engineer.