Inside the DTLA studio of Allis Markham, where a new generation of students are learning about the centuries-old craft of taxidermy.

I've always been fascinated with the art of taxidermy.

I’ve always been fascinated with the art of taxidermy…

So when Allis Markham recently opened up her studio for Obscura Day 2016

…so when Allis Markham recently opened up her studio for Obscura Day 2016, I knew I had to go check it out.

Markham, who grew up in Indiana watching her Native American grandfather taxidermy animals

Markham, who grew up in Indiana watching her Native American grandfather taxidermy animals, began volunteering in the taxidermy department at the Natural History Museum in 2011. There she met her mentor, Museum Taxidermist Tim Bovard and eventually earned a staff position at the museum.

Classes include "Birds 101 Weekend", a two day beginners course for $295, Lifesize Raccoon Kits & Prairie Dogs for $465, and

Some of her upcoming classes include “Birds 101 Weekend”, a two day beginners course for $295, “Lifesize Raccoon Kits & Prairie Dogs” for $465, and “Roosters” with World Champion Taxidermist Tony Finazzo for $585.

 All supplies, tools & specimens (yes you get to keep it) are included in the class fee.

All supplies, tools & specimens are included in the class fee and you get to take your newly created creature home with you when your done.

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Some of the techniques that students are taught may include skinning...

Some of the techniques that students are taught may include skinning…

...fleshing...

…fleshing…

...carcass measuring and wrapped-body techniques...

…carcass measuring and wrapped-body techniques…

Depending on what kind of animal you'll be working with, students may learn how to mold forms with silicone...

…how to mold forms with silicone…

...and grooming, painting and mounting.

…and grooming, painting and mounting.

Markham prides herself on creating pieces that are both accurate and ethical, meaning that no animal worked on at her studio ever died solely for taxidermy. She collects or purchases specimens after natural or unavoidable death, and always discloses their origins to the students.

Markham prides herself on creating pieces that are both accurate and ethical, meaning that no animal worked on at her studio ever died solely for taxidermy. She collects or purchases specimens after natural or unavoidable death, and always discloses their origins to the students.

Specimens are kept frozen until they're ready to be worked on.

Specimens are kept frozen until they’re ready to be worked on.

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Markham’s studio is a mash-up of past and present, the decor a mix of game heads and mounts

With so many interesting things to see in her studio, it was hard to capture it all while I was there. So here’s a little taste of just some of the beauty that lies within Prey Taxidermy:

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After visiting

After meeting Allis in person and learning more about this incredible craft, there’s no doubt I’ll be signing up for a future class. If you’re interested in learning more about Allis and her amazing studio or want to sign up for an upcoming class, please visit her website @ preytaxidermy.com.