By Rochelle Hughes
If you are sick of buying chocolate this Easter, this self-confessed ‘bad taxidermist’ has created a range of unconventional gifts.
Former butcher Jack Devaney, 24, has spent the last five years creating weird and wonderful taxidermy creatures from his home in Plymouth.
Jack’s unusual hobby turned full time career stemmed from trying to find sidelines to make extra money and the world’s strangest date.
After previously going viral for his stuffed rabbit toaster, Jack has now unveiled his new collection of ‘animalgations’ in time for Easter – including a rabbit plant pot holder, a giant chick with a rat’s scrotum for a helmet and a lizard on a crucifix.
Jack said: “It started when I was at university, me and my girlfriend were looking on eBay for ways we could make a few quid, but then we got bored and started looking at weird taxidermy.
“I’d been a butcher’s assistant through my teenage years, so I figured I could probably do it.
“It was kind of romantic in a weird way, we rang the local council and asked if there was any rules I’d have to follow to do it because the internet wasn’t too clear.
“My mum actually bought us a pair of frozen mice and we went and got the supplies we needed, then it was late evening so we ended up lighting a candle and doing it by candlelight in the garden.
“That first one took us ages, but we did it. My girlfriend didn’t enjoy doing it all that much as it was a bit gruesome to her, but I’m somewhat de-sensitized to it I guess, through being a butcher.
“When I got back to university in my final year I had to show something I’d done over the summer which showed a transferable skill.
“By this time I’d done a rat too so I showed them both to the group. The teacher didn’t like it at all and thought I was taking the p**s.
“The class thought I’d bought them online for a laugh too, but I had photos and videos of me doing it, which proved I wasn’t lying but watching me peel fat from inside a mouse didn’t go down well with the group.”
Jack, who now runs taxidermy company The Word of Ewe, has created a range of taxidermy stuffed animals with an unconventional Easter theme running through.
He added: “The lizard on the cross is the epitome of Easter!
“There are rules, and I have my own rules I’ve put in place too, I’m not allowed by law to do migratory birds or protected species – there’s ways around it if it has a certain form with it but I just steer clear of them all.
“My own rule is I don’t do people’s pets because I like to put googly eyes on the animals and make them look funny.
“And whilst a lot of people think they’d like to see their Rover look like a cupboard I don’t think there are many that could actually take it emotionally.
“I love doing it, it’s one of my favourite things to do.
“In all honesty it’s probably the only thing I feel I’m naturally good at – which is weird to say that I’m good at ‘bad taxidermy’.”