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vegan taxidermy

by Amy Azzarito

When I stumbled upon Aimée Baldwin’s work, I literally gasped and held up my laptop to show everyone in the office. Aimée spends hours upon hours crafting these birds that she’s dubbed Vegan Taxidermy. The first step is to create the design — she sketches from photographs and also goes out bird watching to really get a sense of how they move. Once her sketches are finalized, Baldwin carves the bird torso from rigid foam and then begins the process of gluing countless hand-cut crepe feathers in place. The legs are made from wire, and a sculpting putty is used to craft the beak and the claws. The only prefabricated part of the sculptures is the glass eyes. It’s a process that she’s spent a decade refining. No molds are used, so each bird is completely unique. Aimée hopes that her work connects people to the natural world. She says, “I have chosen to make work that does not lend itself well to mass production. It is a very slow process, taking me an average of about a week per bird. This makes it difficult to make a living from it, but it also hopefully means that I am not creating work that will end up in a landfill within a few years.” Aimée’s work is available through her Vegan Taxidermy shop on Etsy, and more information can be found on her website. — Amy Azzarito

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