Taxidermy classes are nothing new, but in these hygge-seekingl times, DIY times, many people want to roll up their sleeves and stuff their own dead animals. And there are many options.

Hoardaculture Taxidermy offers many; owner Amber Maykut studied taxidermy at a number of schools and was the taxidermist in residence at the Morbid Anatomy Museum. She adds, "I am a member of the New England Association of Taxidermists and a board member of New Jersey's Garden State Taxidermists Association. I follow and support ethical guidelines with respect to animal welfare. None of the animals used to create my taxidermy pieces were killed solely for the sake of taxidermy; their deaths are not related to the art."

We visited her mouse taxidermy class two years ago (photos above); there are upcoming chipmunk ($200) and mouse ($120) classes next month.

Another former taxidermist in residence from the Morbid Anatomy Museum, Divya Anantharaman, is offering a squirrel taxidermy class on March 4. It costs almost $300 (including the service fee), and the description says, "This class is designed for beginners to learn professional level techniques used in small mammal taxidermy. This class is designed for absolute beginners (but will also satisfy more experienced students) and cover all steps used in small mammal taxidermy from start to finish." Anantharaman adds, "Any animal parts used in my work are legally and ethically obtained and professionally sanitized and preserved. Everything is put to good use, and nothing goes wasted or unloved."

Atlas Obscura is offering a rat taxidermy class on March 5; it'll run just under $237. According to the class description, "Each student will be provided with his or her own ethically-sourced rat, which they will skin, flesh, preserve, split, and prep for mounting. Students will be using custom forms created for the main sections of the bodies. Then they will use the carcass for reference and build limbs and further fine tune the forms. Students are encouraged to bring in any props they may want to dress the animal up in."

Also, "We make every effort to practice the most ethical approach to the long-historied art of taxidermy. Nothing is ever killed for the work or classes taught by Katie. The red foxes and other animals used in her workshops are sourced through roadkill when legal, abatement or nuisance removals, and scraps from other taxidermists."

When our Lauren Evans took a sparrow taxidermy class in 2013, she wrote:

The process of taxidermy is slow, painstaking, and requires an amount of patience I suspect I will never have. My hope was that the head would simply take care of itself, maybe just go ahead and mummify or something as a way of thanking me for doing such a great job removing the body-nugget. This was not to be.

The process of extracting bird brains involves flipping the skin inside out, revealing a nice, round hole—the foramen magnum (I looked it up.) Using our sharp needle tool, we scooped out the cerebral matter. It came out in gobs roughly the color and consistency of raspberry sherbet.

"Yours has so much brain!" the woman next to me exclaimed. "It must have been pretty smart!" I replied, amusing no one. Having removed the brain, we packed the skull with Borax and clay.

Let the communing with dead nature begin at once!