Artis­tic mum is on a taxi­dermy mis­sion

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

AMUM with a love of an­i­mals has re­vived a tra­di­tional skill of taxi­dermy in an ef­fort to pre­serve their beauty.

Artist Kate Egan de­cided to learn taxi­dermy as a way of pre­serv­ing a jack­daw which she had lov­ingly cared for be­fore it died.

Eigh­teen months on, the 29-year-old launched a taxi­dermy and nat­u­ral art busi­ness, Dead Things by Kate, and her stall at The Trea­cle Mar­ket has be­come a big hit with shop­pers.

Mum of one Kate, said: “I tried re­ally hard to save a jack­daw and be­came re­ally en­am­oured with it. When it died I de­cided to do a taxi­dermy course and it seemed to trig­ger some­thing in me.”

Kate sells one-off pieces of art us­ing eth­i­callysourced an­i­mals, flora and fauna, in­clud­ing an­i­mal skulls she has found in Mac­cles­field For­est, but ad­mits it may not be to every­ones taste.

Kate, who is mum to five-year-old Os­car, said: “Some peo­ple walk past and call it dis­gust­ing. Oth­ers love it.

“There are lot of mis­con­cep­tions about taxi­dermy.

“Peo­ple think we are killing the an­i­mals when most of us are con­ser­va­tion­ists, and our aim is to pre­serve the life, ed­u­cate and pro­vide op­por­tu­nity for ev­ery­one to be able to ap­pre­ci­ate ‘wild Bri­tain’

“My favourite re­ac­tion is from chil­dren. You get to teach them about an­i­mals and bring them close to crea­tures they may have never seen.

“It is like a nat­u­ral his- tory les­son, and may in­spire them to be­come nat­u­ral­ists and zo­ol­o­gists.”

She added: “Os­car is fas­ci­nated by an­i­mals and what I do with them. He’s al­ready stood up in class and an­nounced he wants to be a taxi­der­mist like his mum.

“I bet that was a shock to his teacher.”

Kate, a for­mer pupil at Puss Bank Pri­mary School and Mac­cles­field Col­lege, de­vel­oped her love of art thanks to her dad Bren­dan’s art col­lec­tion and an in­spi­ra­tional art teacher at Puss Bank.

Her mis­sion to re­vive the art of taxi­dermy has now been given a boost af­ter re­ceiv­ing a £4,200 New En­ter­prise Al­lowance (NEA) loan which has al­lowed her to in­vest in more ad­vanced cour­ses, ma­te­ri­als and chem­i­cals, and a cam­era to pho­to­graph her work for her online busi­ness.

Kate re­cently moved to St He­lens to study with Steve Brown, an ex­pert in the field, but she re­turns to Mac­cles­field regularly to visit her fam­ily.

●● Kate Egan has a taxi­dermy art busi­ness, Dead Things by Kate

●● Some of Kate’s cre­ations us­ing dead birds

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