A highlight from Natasha tries taxidermy: the wild, wonderful world of the museum makers

Science Friction


This is an abc podcast. So there's a whole kit in front of scalpels tweezers seizes yup raid. Because i'm gonna do some stitching. We got a little bit of foreign source. Yes that's going to help us up any any moisture that stock coming out. We don't want you. Don't want blood on your fitness okay. That's your warning right there. There is just a little bit of flesh and bone feathers and skin in this edition of science friction. Hey natasha mitchell wielding a scalpel yes. But i promise you there will be no booze. People think that we actually is some of the stuff everywhere. But what you're going to realize it's not it's can be quite claimed so i'm putting my and getting pretty psyched because i'm gotta do some taxidermy. It's not really so it's not just texted name. Used to be called stuffing. So back in the newseum methods back then back when it was cold stuffing was literally that took the skin off something so that skien up and it could have been stuff. Local straw wood fiber. Anything really moneim. Stephen smith now. You wanna strategist talk taxidermist. Yes not sure about that. But of working at melbourne museum for thirty five years as a traditional museum taxidermist when i started the museum deep experience and always had a love natural issue but never thought on the lawn of taxidermy but the head prepare to their by forty years. He wanted someone to mental and just happened to be at the right time. Do you know. I texted dummied spaceman. Yeah and it's still museum was on display not long ago. And she's brought braxton emotions really. That's qual which is quarter. Ray specimen for in victoria that museum. Texas domus like dana. Almost a scarce these days to record quite rare. we're not commercial taxidermist tweaking. The game not deer and foxes and things like that so we're really specialized in understanding anatomy and so forth of orlando ninety wall off. Pretty darn good texaco. And i'm he to learn some of that art will try to this. Is the first main interview. Been allowed to record outside of my home in over a year. And i've been inside an abc studio just three times since last march so hell. I'm breaking out and getting visceral and how to feel really alive. Heaven encounter with the date and to do that. I've ended a kind of fantasy office in central victoria to meet a jio called the museum micheals. It's a little tin shared at qatargas from the march per in saw there's a hell of a going on. That's for sure. I wanna tetiaroa. I'm you and would apply scored lot team which is a wonderful arts precinct. At the back of kesselman victoria of a workshop. Here russia with dane. And we make things. Do they ever but calling the mealy. Things is an understatement. That can range from tony insects to huge blue while so they might be skeletons ago into a research collection or they might be models of things that be intake extinct animals fossil replicas. We do all sorts of things cultural thing so in my my mic replicas of aboriginal artifacts. It's over your left shoulder. I say a taxi dummied crew to our garage. his will we're staring down upon us is donna. Sole model over there is a kangaroo. Boxing kangaroo koster think some carcasses of bats some fox's a crocodile peering overhead must all taxidermy is for institutions loch ness schools or universities museums. And it was at the melbourne museum. Where you in dane. I met as kids starting out. His trainy museum paradis every surface in this large teen shared by national. Their office is adorned with a menagerie of natural history to lots Books sketches the hand built models. Taxi do specimens they make of marsupials snakes. Spiders birds plants and a whole lot more. The drawer of is offset all different colors and sizes. Because that was that's yeah. Donoso must be adorable. Who had fish monday night in europe. A lot of these blind gloss they not shape for is is my and then we have other ones which we call a blankets. Got the black pupil. And we'll pintail the the fine detail in behind the glass say from totally beguiling alongside. The taxi dumi specimens the artificial models. They make a flora and fauna began small out of all sorts of materials just looked so real and that's the point so that's a cast of a koala body probably did full of the concentrations in phillip island. But i wanted to say every now and then it had blink and a ted tune. Someone did that just told. The person is now here and if you thought he did a pretty good job of perfecting your salad or surviving. Endless zoom meetings. This past year these two had the coolest project during. Victoria's covid lockdowns. We were fortunate enough to be in. Regional victoria where we did have some restrictions but we could still work with a team of five people and we built a sixty made a dinosaur and it had to travel to. W for the new museum that i don so tortona soros a massive sore reports four legged brontosaurus type thing. A long neck long tile her before creating an enormous authentic replica of a dinosaur. That's long extinct is a big engineering fate. And a scientific one knee with i fanned some of the fossil reminds of the dinosaurs. I've found what i think. Too skinny impressions so the dinosaurs lied in a muddy bank. It's got up. And it's left an impression lucky footprint if you like of its skin and i believe that be the skin texture of that particular dinosaur and we had very sculpt all that over the whole sixty square meters of skin and there was built. I've six months took a stray march sculpt the skin so while everyone else was making salad watching netflix. Videos during lockdown. You don a soul. That's every fantasy when we were making to get we wouldn't have been essentially distance. Arena was good. The donoso project it was texting is really good. Bicycles fly understanding anatomy getting inside of animals working closely with animals. We can apply that to building sculptures of prehistoric animals as well and getting that wrought and with that donoso looked fantastic. The log was about to walk out of the the workshop Picking up my scalpel again. I've got a real animal in mind so today is the

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