I meant to do my work today, but a brown bird sang in the apple tree, and a butterfly flitted across the field, and all the leaves were calling me... Richard le Gallienn 1866 - 1947
I was born in Hampshire living & working there until I moved to North Wales 17 years ago.
My love of nature has been with me since early childhood, and in my teens, ran a small wildlife hospital from an old garden shed. I made my first 'public' appearance on Channel 4 (UK)'s 'Pet Rescue' programme, where it showed me and the animals I'd rehabilitated. After the episode aired, I started being invited to give talks about animals, nature and the care of wildlife to the children in the local schools, I'd take along a furry or feathered visitor for them to see and loved it as much as they did!
Being totally absorbed by nature, I'd pick up bones, stones, feathers, bits of wood, shells and so on, by adulthood, I had a large collection and felt the need to 'do' something with them, so anything carvable I carved, along with teaching myself the art taxidermy with the help of a deceased and very broken wood pigeon. These things were purely for my own pleasure, but visitors to my home kept saying people wanted to buy what I'd made, In 2011 I finally plucked up the courage to start a website under the name of Indigo crow Taxidermy. That name was to be short lived because everyone kept saying
" Trudy, you've really kept it's spirit" it was rather obvious I should become 'The Spirit Keeper'.
By joining a BBC film crew and the RSPB, filming a Peregrine family group in 2013, I was introduced to the local Countryside & Wildlife Crime Unit officer. I've since preserved birds of prey that now travel with the Officer to help educate the general public on their open days. My interest in the Units work led me to compiling a page in this website explaining "Wildlife Crime, how to identify it and how to report it safely". This page has been used by the RSPCA, for training purposes and has been commended by the them for the information therein.
I've created approved* taxidermy for hotels, restaurants, vintage shop displays as well as preserving animal parts for use in theatrical costumes. However, in 2015 my health started to deteriorate quite rapidly and I continued doing taxidermy for as long as I could. However, it didn't take long for me to realise I couldn't continue... and with a heavy heart I 'retired' from professional taxidermy and the pressures of taxidermy commission work.
On the upside, this enabled me to develop my carving skills to where I can replicate and recreate carved archaeological findings (made from bone, antler and wood) for public displays, as well as taking on more taxidermy restoration work which I really enjoy. Becoming disabled was a terrible blow to my self worth, but the extra time I found myself having enabled me to fully express my animistic and shamanic experiences, which I believe reflects in my work today.
My home is located within a private woodland and consider myself extremely lucky to be surrounded by nature and the wildlife that I love so much. Home is shared by my Husband Rob and our Son Joshua ( who are on the Autistic spectrum), along with three rescued elderly/disabled cats, two rescued snakes, two rescued (non UK) Toads, a rescued Tarantula, and a very very special little dog who appeared in my life after the death of our beautiful 16 year old dog, Sam. Since this little dog arrived from Romania, she has been my constant companion, and I love her so dearly I could burst!
I can't help but find it ironic in that I've spent a whole lifetime rescuing animals, and it was a little Romanian Street dog that rescued me.
Thank you for taking the time to read about me, and I hope you enjoy looking at the things I make ☺️
* Approved By Environmental Health Department
Here are a few of the Interviews & Articles I've been invited to participate in.
✦Lara Shingles of Warpaint - May 2013
'Giving new life to the old'
✦The Hype - Issue 3 2013
'Taking Over from the Men'
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