Tanning a hide

November 4, 2017

After much research I was fairly confident I was able to preserve the skin. First you must flesh the skin, I did this with bare hand and a sharp knife,I sat removing all small bits of flesh from the pelt of the creature, every small bit of muscle tissue , fat and the white membrane and fibres. Doing this I was really able to under stand the way the skin of the animal was made up. I've never seen the surface of skin in this way before, fascinating. The white strands of connecting tissue really reminded me of the work with my latex in the way it peeled.  I allowed my dogs to eat the scraps of flesh not wanting any part of the animal to go to waist. 


After this I than salted it for a few days to help preserve the skin. This led to a sad realisation, the skin did not smell like death because of the salt, it's sent was actually similar to the familiar sent of our new born lambs, it's a beautiful smell one that triggers memories of bringing new life into the world. However in my hands there is something decidedly dead and cold. 


I than washed and soaked the skin in preparation for tanning. Trediuanly  in the long past the animals brain was used for tanning the skin, apparently each animal has just enough brain to a coat. But this calfs brain was long gone and so I used Alum a type of preservative to tan the skin 

 After fleshing.

 During tanning.

 After tanning.





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