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Entomology 101: Beetles & Moths

In this class, students will learn everything about basic insect preparation. We will discuss harvesting and drying specimen, rehydrating dried specimen, and in class we will practice handling techniques, spreading, mounting, the nuances of posing, display, and maintenance. An assortment of ethically sourced insects; Beetles & Moths, in various sizes, shapes, and colors will be provided. Students will learn how to put together and maintain their own rehydration chamber, things to check for during all stages of the process to ensure a clean and successful end product, and tips for gentle handling. We will also cover how to select museum quality materials for displays. Students receive 1 Riker mount for their specimen, 1 set of insect pins & 2 insects (varieties to choose from).

As always, all specimen are ethically sourced. We will be reviewing the origins of the assorted insects used in class, how students can ethically and legally source specimen, and suggested, reputable suppliers. If there are any excess specimen left, they will be available for students to take home for practice and future use.

Students go home with their own prepared beetle & moth, one Riker mount display, the pinning/spreading board made during class, resource list as well as 1 set of insect pins.and the knowledge to create their own pieces in the future. It is recommended students bring a small bag or box or display case to transport their pieces. Wooden spreading boards, insect pins, archival habitat materials and various insects are available at the studio for purchase.

Date: Friday, August 26th 

Time: 6:30-8:30pm 

Lecture/Demo: 5pm-6pm $20pp $5 per student 8-18yrs (under 13 must be accompanied by adult)

Workshop fee: $75 includes lecture/demo

Reserve your seats here: https://nanopod.tv/entomology/

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Bat Skeleton Articulation Workshops

In this class, students will learn how to create an osteological preparation of a bat in the fashion of 19th century zoological displays. A cleaned bat skeleton (Pipistrellus abramus), a glass dome, branches, glue, tools, and all necessary materials will be provided for each student, but one should feel welcome to bring small feathers, stones, dried flowers, dead insects, natural elements, or any other materials s/he might wish to include in his/her composition. Students will leave the class with a visually striking, fully articulated, “lifelike” bat skeleton posed in a 10″ tall glass dome. The class will focus on teaching ancient methods of specimen preparation that link science with art: students will create compositions involving natural elements and, according to their taste, will compose a traditional Victorian environment or a modern display.

Date: Saturday, August 27th

Time: 12pm-3:00pm

Cost: $270pp (deposit of $135 to reserve seat)

Reserve your seats here:https://nanopod.tv/bat-skeleton-articulation-workshop/

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Continuing Entomology: Rarities & Aberrations

In this beginner’s class, students will learn everything about basic insect** preparation and preservation. We will discuss harvesting and drying specimen, rehydrating dried specimen, and in class we will practice handling techniques, spreading, mounting, the nuances of posing, display, and maintenance. Students will learn how to put together and maintain their own rehydration chamber, things to check for during all stages of the process to ensure a clean and successful end product, and tips for gentle handling. Students will also build their very own spreading boards for use in class and beyond. We will also cover how to select museum quality materials for displays.

As always, all specimen are ethically sourced. We will be reviewing the origins of the insects used in class, how students can ethically and legally source specimen, and suggested, reputable suppliers.

Students go home with their own prepared insects, one Riker mount display, the pinning/spreading board made during class, resource list as well as 1 set of insect pins.and the knowledge to create their own pieces in the future. It is recommended students bring a small bag or box or display case to transport their pieces. Wooden spreading boards, insect pins, archival habitat materials and various insects are available at the studio for purchase.

Spreading boards, insect pins, archival habitat materials and various insects are available at the studio for purchase. ** Insects for this workshop might include Leaf insects, Stick insects, Mantis, Horned beetles, Hawk Moths, etc., rest assured there will be an amazing selection to choose from (participants can choose 2 insects to work on)!

Date: Saturday, August 27th

Time: 12pm-3:30pm (includes lecture/demo)

Workshop fee: $85pp

Lecture/demo: $20pp (adult) $5pp (18 and under) 

Reserve your seats here: https://nanopod.tv/entomology/

Where: Both Entomology Lectures/Demos and workshops are taking place off-site at 1101 Bloor Street West at the Toronto Public Library Bloor/Gladstone branch.

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Jackalope Should Mount Workshop

This class will introduce students to basic small mammal taxidermy, focusing on the skinning, prepping, and sculpting techniques specific to the face. We will cover splitting lips, thinning noses, turning ears, and other techniques to successfully set a face. Each student is provided with their own specimen which they will flesh, prep, mount, and groom. We will go through the process of carving busts for each mount, how to attach antlers, and will discuss taxidermy techniques that can be used for projects larger and smaller. Further preservation processes will be discussed as well; tanning, mummification, wet specimens, bone cleaning, etc. Everything is supplied and students do not need any prior experience for this class. Each student will leave with their own finished piece and the knowledge to create their own in the future.

Date: Saturday, August 27th

Time: 4:30pm-11pm

Workshop fee: $340pp (deposit required to reserve seat)

Further info & registration info here: https://nanopod.tv/taxidermy/

__________________________>

Mythological/Dino-Bird Taxidermy

In this intensive workshop, we will cover all the basics of taxidermy, focusing specifically on small bird taxidermy with Bantam Chickens. The basics of skull cleaning and wet specimen will also be discussed. Taxidermy is a process of deconstruction and reconstruction, and this class will be divided as such, giving students the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the process at their own pace.

 The first half of the afternoon will focus on deconstruction. After a review of basic bird anatomy, with a focus on skeletal structure, muscle groupings, and identifying feather growth patterns, students will use this knowledge to approach their specimen. After getting comfortable with the tools to be used, we will cover the skinning techniques unique to birds, learn how to work with delicate skin, how to repair holes if any are made, and how to clean wing and leg bones in preparation for assembly. Students will also learn the importance of thoroughly fleshing and degreasing/washing, with tips on how to ensure a skin is totally clean in order for preservatives to work effectively. Tracings, measurements, and patterns will be made from the carcass. Students can choose to take their carcass home for dissection or creating a wet specimen (instructions will be provided).

The second half of the workshop is all about constructing your Gaffs; Mythological bird or Dino-bird. Students will custom build a body form, based on the anatomical tracings they made as well as working with pre-tanned small mammal/bird hides (rabbit, squirrel, pigeon, etc)., using the traditional technique of wrapped body. We will cover how to create a stable armature for the finished gaffs when wiring the wings and legs. Students will also learn how to sew for taxidermy, with a focus on smooth and hidden stitches. We will also cover grooming, carding, and drying techniques based on the finished pose desired.

Antlers, glass eyes, and horns will be available for students to customize. Small sterling silver, and bronze crowns, claws, cast crystal antlers/horns will be available for purchase. Students are encouraged to bring in their own items; armour, clothing, saddles, etc., for their mythological or Dino-bird.

Reference photos for finished standing, sitting, and flying poses will be provided for use and inspiration in class via tablet or smartphone, although students are encouraged to bring their own. Instructions for care and maintenance will be given, and students will be instructed on how to do final finishing work after the mount dries, such as sculpting eye rings and airbrushing.

The instructor will be providing demonstrations of each step, and allowing students plenty of individual attention and opportunities to ask questions. A supply and resource list will be emailed to students. We will also cover the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and other applicable laws for working with birds and legally obtaining specimens. It is advised that students bring a bag or small box to transport their finished pieces..

The birds used in this class are humanely sourced, they are naturally deceased or a byproduct of the food industry.

Date: Sunday, August 28th

Time: noon - 6pm

Workshop fee: $370pp (deposit of $170 required to reserve seat)

Further information & how to register here: https://nanopod.tv/taxidermy/

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