Student News

Plymouth Uni student cashes in making pencil cases out of dead animals

Just when you think you've seen it all! A design student from Plymouth is making cash selling homemade pencil cases made out of taxidermy rodents.
rat taxidermy delaneyCredit: Jack Devaney – Facebook
Leave your retail job behind, step out from behind the bar – or, in the case of this student, from behind the butcher counter – 'cause who knew you could make such a killing making stationery out of deceased animals?

A Plymouth Uni student with a particularly niche sense of humour has been doing the rounds online for turning dead animals into everyday items and selling them online.

Jack Devaney, a 22-year-old 3D Design student, recently sent the internet into a spin when he posted pics on Imgur of a pencil case that was once a living and breathing rat, which he made as part of his taxidermy hobby.

After selling his first rat pencil case creation for £34.99, Jack received so much interest in his work that he’s since begun working on new projects – although Facebook have recently banned him after users reported his page.

From corpse to case

Jack DevaneyCredit: Jack Devaney
Taxidermy (the art of preparing, stuffing, and mounting skins of animals with lifelike effect) was popular in the mid-1700s but has since divided animal-lovers and those who see it as a form of art.

Jack explained how he freezes the animals he uses slightly to make it easier to, ahem, take the fur and skin off (sorry, vegans).

If you're wondering how on earth he has the knowledge and stomach to attempt such a challenge, this would be thanks to the fact he spent nine years working in a butcher shop!

Where does he get the animals?

Jack revealed he first bought his furry subjects (already deceased!) from pet shops, as he used to have a pet snake and knew they sell frozen mice as snake feed.

But since demand has grown, he's started ordering the animals from pest control and estate managers after posting appeals online.

Despite there being worldwide interest in his work (he gets a lot of messages from people in the US), Jack says he doesn't plan to turn taxidermy into a living.

He says:

You’d have to be a nutter to think you could make a living out of this. Some people have suggested my work is satirical or that they have a deeper meaning but they are just daft.

Unsurprisingly, people are pretty divided in their opinions of Jack's creations.

Whilst he's had a lot of interest and support on his pages (his Imgur pics have had 500,000 views), he's been blocked from Facebook selling groups and also received a letter from Natural England suggesting he apply for a taxidermy licence.

For a less morbid (but equally creative) money-making scheme, why not try selling your used toilet paper rolls on eBay?

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