The self-taught taxidermist from Plymouth is back with a new offering – and he says they’re proving to be a big hit with the public. Jack Devaney started his own taxidermy business “by accident” and now he makes “Hairy Danglers”.
The 28-year-old says his new products are made from mixtures of mice, rats, chicks and rabbits all sourced from pet store freezers. They are attached to an elasticated loop so they move while you drive.
Although gruesome in nature, Jack’s job doesn’t phase him, as he worked as a butcher. Over the years, he has built up a catalog of quirky creations, including a rabbit toaster, a rat pencil case and mouse earrings.
Originally from Manchester, Jack attended Plymouth University to do 3D design and that’s how it all started. Its creation with a difference was due to a misunderstanding.
Jack said: “It was called a feasibility project and we had to come up with an idea of a workable product that people would like. We were advised to incorporate something from our past into it.
“It looks like the teacher meant something from our previous modules on the course, but I understood that to mean our personal past, so I wanted to show that I was a butcher. I made a stuffed rat, I showed the class and then it went viral online.”
Jack then made a pencil case for rats. He said: “From what happened about four or five years ago it turned into a business, I’ve just been making stuff ever since.”
Jack’s previous experience as a butcher comes in handy, he’s not deterred by blood and guts – he says he finds the organs “‘interesting'”. “I call it bad taxidermy because I never do anything that looks like the original animal,” he said.
“From 14 to 20 I worked in a butcher shop so I would say I’m desensitized to that, I waste as little as possible, as for the organs you never really see them do you? Say you drive on the road and you see a [dead] fox on the road, organs turned to mush, you can never see hearts or eyeballs.
Growing up, Jack’s goal was to save animals rather than force-feed them, but now, looking back, he feels like life is less stressful than if he had pursued the career he originally wanted. “As a kid, I never woke up saying ‘I want to be a taxidermist’, like I said before, it was an accident.
“I’ll be very honest with you, growing up I really wanted to be a veterinarian. It’s a bit like being a veterinarian, but without any stress, I guess.
If you would like to see more of Jack’s creations, you can do so on his website, here.
You can stay up to date on major news and events near you with FREE PlymouthLive newsletters – enter your email address at the top of the page or go here .
Want more news you love? Sign up for our tailored newsletters newsletters.
More than 40 Plymouth businesses at risk of bankruptcy
UFO theories ‘sabotaged’ after light display organizers come forward
Incredible air show spotted in the skies of Plymouth
A38 motorcyclist David ‘Mad Dog’ Crawford laid to rest