Skunk Skin

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.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

2 Responses to Skunk Skin

  1. Same here, Lloyd. Last year I picked up a road-killed badger to go with the raccoon I found some years ago. Both of their skulls now grace a shelf in my straw bale house. I love bones (especially skulls.) The "form follows function" aspect of skull design is incredible.

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