Hey there! I'm Mickey. I'm a Midwestern taxidermist and craftsperson. Born and raised in Michigan, I took an interest in nature and biology from an early age. My obsession with animals, coupled with a desire to hold onto tangible memories, led to an unexpected intersection. My passion for taxidermy was discovered one night with a dead squirrel, a bottle of wine, and an old biology textbook. I have been working in the taxidermy industry since March of 2012 and I'm recognized internationally for my pop-up taxidermy workshops for beginners. Additionally, I have practiced metalsmithing since 2004 and create handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces inspired by natural history and the occult.
I practice sustainable taxidermy methods, am a member of the National Taxidermists Association, and have worked, volunteered, and taught at museums and universities all over the world. Last year I won a third-place ribbon for my peacock (his name is Kevin) at the NTA National Championships. I have also served as a consultant to novelist Lauren Beukes for the award-winning book Broken Monsters. You can read a bunch of articles and watch a bunch of short documentaries about my work here. My lectures are primarily targeted towards those with an interest in biology, science, and natural history and focus on the role taxidermy plays in understanding the past, present, and future of our ecosystem. I reside in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago with four living pets and a whole lot of dead ones.
In 2018 I filed for Federal 501(c)3 as part of newly-established Illinois nonprofit, The Specimen Museum. Our status is still pending due to the government shutdown. If you have previously spoken with me or another team member about it, questions about the organization can be directed to my contact form. If not, hang tight - a website and more information are coming soon!
Notable affiliations, past and present:
Action Potential Lab - Toronto, Ontario (guest educator)
American Natural Resources - Griffith, Indiana (guest taxidermist)
Audubon Zoo - New Orleans, Louisiana (guest educator)
Field Museum - Chicago, Illinois (volunteer trainee, member of Field Museum Women in Science)
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center - Seattle, Washington (guest educator)
Harvard Museum of Natural History - Cambridge, Massachusetts (guest educator)
Houston Museum of Natural Science - Houston, Texas (guest educator)
Museum of Contemporary Art - Cleveland, Ohio (guest educator)
Ojai Valley Taxidermy - Ojai, California (guest taxidermist and sometimes-social-media-lady)
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum - Chicago, Illinois (volunteer trainee)
Portland State University - Portland, Oregon (guest educator)
Seattle Public Library - Seattle, Washington (guest educator)
Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (member)
University of Washington - Seattle, Washington (guest educator)