Artistic mum is on a taxidermy mission
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