Mickey Alice Kwapis

taxidermy & craft

Kansas City Cabinet of Curiosities Workshops - Make a Deposit ($150 total)

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Kansas City Cabinet of Curiosities Workshops - Make a Deposit ($150 total)


Start your own natural history collection the DIY way at Oracle Fine Curiosities, located at 130 West 18th Street in Kansas City, Missouri!

Sign up for a specimen preservation class with absolutely no experience necessary — learn about entomology (insects), osteology (bones), botany (plants), and a little bit of taxidermy by preserving your own specimens. Reserve your spot for $50 USD and pay the remainder on the day of your class. These classes are limited to twelve students each.

What will students learn?

  • Wet specimen embalming: Learn how to carefully embalm, pose, and preserve a jarred bird specimen AND a jarred mammal specimen. All specimens are legal to possess and were sustainably sourced, meaning their deaths were not detrimental to the environment. Specimens for embalming practice may be unsuitable for taxidermy mounting (they may be missing a few toes) but rather than throwing them out, I have chosen to repurpose my imperfect specimens for educational purposes.
  • Botany: Learn how to preserve plants, flowers, leaves, and other botanical specimens by pressing them in your own handmade wooden plant press, which is portable and will fit in a bag or a larger purse for use on nature walks.
  • Osteology: Learn how to dissect an owl pellet, separating small animal bones from other components of the pellet. Identify bones when possible, then learn how to clean them for drying and display. Bone-cleaning methods will carry over to skeletons of any size.

What do students leave with? 
Each student will leave with an embalmed bird specimen, an embalmed mammal specimen, a handmade plant press full of specimens ready to dry, and a vial of small animal bones found in their owl pellet. Students get to keep all tools and equipment - you will receive a set of embalming tools and spare chemicals for future wet specimen projects, a reusable vial, petri dish, teasing tool, and chemicals for dissecting owl pellets and/or cleaning bones, and a handmade wooden plant press that can be reused indefinitely, in addition to lots of knowledge and of course, your own finished bone and plant specimens.

When and where is this happening?
Noon on Saturday, July 29th and Sunday, July 30th at Oracle. This is a one-session class spanning approximately two hours. It may be shorter depending on how fast you work. You do not need to attend both days unless you want two sets of everything. Both classes require a reservation in order to attend. The address is 130 West 18th Street in Kansas City, Missouri, 64108. Please arrive on time and allow extra time for parking if needed.

What is the cost?
Reserve your spot with a $50 deposit. The remaining $100 is due at the time of your class.

All ages are welcome to participate in these classes. Students under twelve must be accompanied by a calm adult that can assist where needed. Students with special needs are also welcome - just let me know beforehand if you are signing a minor up for the class and/or if special accommodations are required.

To sign up and reserve your spot, please follow these instructions:

  • Click the button below the listing to add ticket(s) to your cart one at a time.
  • Fill out the form that pops up for each person you are buying a ticket for. You will need to provide a name, email address, and phone number for each person. Each student needs to have a separate form filled out. If you are giving the class as a gift, please provide the student’s information rather that your own.
  • When you are finished adding the desired tickets to your cart, proceed to checkout and pay your deposit of $50 per ticket. Your registration is not complete and your spot is not reserved until you have submitted payment.
  • The remaining $100 per student will be due in cash at the time of the class. A reminder about this will be provided in an email sent to students the week of their class.

The nitty-gritty: Deposits are nonrefundable unless the class gets cancelled. If you make a deposit but find you can no longer attend the class, you may forfeit your deposit or transfer it to another person if you desire. Please notify me of any transfers or ask any questions you may have by emailing hello@mickeyalicekwapis.com.

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Mickey Alice Kwapis is a Chicago-based taxidermist, jeweler, and person who does a lot of stuff. All site content ©2011-2017 Mickey Alice Kwapis and Niche Lab LLC. Questions? Use the contact form.