This artwork comes natural

  • Amy Brewer of Llunas Natural Creations in Wilton uses bones and feathers to create her art. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Amy Brewer of Llunas Natural Creations in Wilton uses bones and feathers to create her art. Brewer, an artist and taxidermist, uses materials she gets from various sources, including donations, hunters and commissions, to make ceremonial smudgers, like the one above, used to waft cleansing sage smoke, as well as jewelry and other decorations. Inset: A pair of earrings that use parrot feathers and snake vertebrae. (Courtesy photo) Staff photo by Ashley Saari

  • Amy Brewer of Lluna's Natural Creations Courtesy photo—

  • Amy Brewer of Lluna's Natural Creations Courtesy photo—

  • Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 7/27/2016 6:01:54 PM

It’s honoring every part of the animal. That’s how Amy Brewer of Wilton sees her work, both as a taxidermist and as an artist who often works with the natural materials of an animal’s body – the bones, the feathers and fur.

“Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved taxidermy,” Brewer explained. “If I went into a museum, the first thing I wanted to see was the taxidermy. If I went to a friend’s house and they had taxidermy, I wanted to touch it.”

Now, Brewer runs her business, Llunas Natural Creations, out of the former Riverview Mill in Wilton, which now serves as a studio space for multiple artists. 

Her fascination didn’t result in a career until later in life, Brewer explained. She worked as a veterinarian technician for many years, and later became involved in wildlife rehabilitation, work that she still does in addition to her taxidermy, bone cleaning and artistry businesses.

She started in 2005 making “smudgers” – feather fans used to waft smoke from herbs such as sage in cleansing rituals. Usually, Brewer uses turkey feathers to make large, elaborate smudgers.

But that work soon led to other uses for the rest of the animal.

Brewer wears many hats in her business. She receives trophies from hunters who want the heads of their kills mounted. She tans their hides for throws. 

She uses dermestid beetles to deflesh animals and clean the flesh their bones, which are then artificially whitened and preserved to serve as decorative skulls – a collection market that is seeing a resurgence, said Brewer. It’s a process that can take four months or longer, said Brewer, but the results are museum quality and will hold up over time.

She will also incorporate other bones, feathers or hide into jewelry or other decorations.

For example, Brewer explained, as she sat behind her desk with a pile of deer bones in front of her, her latest client, a new hunter, came to her with a freshly bagged deer – the first she had ever killed. She had taken the meat for food, and wanted to use as much of the animal as possible.

In addition to creating a skull mount, said Brewer, she decided to use the animal’s leg bones to make a dreamcatcher with some turkey feathers and stones. 

Other times, she’ll get animals through the mail that the sender would like a full-body skeleton articulation of. Which makes for some interesting package pickups for Brewer she admits. An armadillo from Texas, or a wild boar from Oregon are just two examples. 

”I have never been grossed out by it,” said Brewer, of the process of skinning or defleshing animals for her businesses. “I’ve always been intrigued by the anatomy of it. And we have so many ancient elders and tribes that wore the fur and the bones, that used every part of an animal. It’s important to teach kids and young ones to honor the animal in that way, especially those that are starting to hunt.”

And she likes the educational aspect of her work, too, she said. Brewer mounts birds for the New Hampshire Audobon Society and the Harris Center to use as teaching tools. 

”It’s honoring them all the way around,” she said.

For more information about Brewer, visit her facebook pages Llunas Natural Creations for her artwork and Llunas Natural Creations Skull and Bone Cleaning for her skull mounts and skeleton articulation work. 


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