My Faves

Click the bookmark icon to save all the stuff you love.

Be The First To Know

Your inside line on the new, unique and unmissable across Bucks & Oxon

Sign up to our newsletter

Reader Treats Just For You!

Wouldn’t you though?

Hmmm, you’ve reached an older feature - let’s get you up to date! Read our latest Wouldnt you though features here.

Do you ever wonder about what if you’d taken a different career path? If I’d chosen taxidermy (and don’t we all secretly wish we had? ), I’m pretty sure I’d want to be Julie Johnson from Aylesbury.

Johnson, who was previously a children’s knitwear designer and toy maker, has combined her skill sets to create one-off taxidermy pieces complete with handmade outfits and unique personalities.

She appears on email exchanges to be perfectly sane, and obviously loves her career, and has had some success – her cute creations have been shown in LiveLuxe in Wendover, which is nothing less than gorgeously tasteful.

Johnson specialises in anthromorphic taxidermy, which I think basically means that she assigns the animals a personality, and dresses them accordingly. She obviously has a sense of humour – the Tommy Cooper fez and glasses on the mole are glorious – and her work is strangely alluring.

Anyway, love them or hate them, I often say that the only things I’ll write about on Muddy Stilettos are either quirky, brilliant, hilarious, or unique, and I think this counts safely as all four.

What do you think of Julie’s taxidermy? Go on, don’t be shy, and comment below. The moles deserve an answer!




Find more ideas here

Wouldnt you though

6 comments on “Wouldn’t you though?”

  • Nicky Jones January 13, 2014

    I find no pleasure at all in seeing animals being presented in this way, and am repulsed by the thought that some people will use them as interior decoration.

    • muddystiletto January 13, 2014

      Hi Nicky, thanks for getting in touch and commenting. Kindest, Hero

  • Louise Heathcote January 14, 2014

    Gosh I am charmed and appalled at the same time:
    One old fashioned romantic side of me see very cute soft furry characters as harking back to the times when the stories of Brambly hedge were written. If these animals were dead by natural causes then who are we to judge this very original upcycling, they are far nicer than the Damien Hurst offerings……Lets face it how many of us get in Rentokil to kill our vermin??!
    However in our modern, sanitised society something of the dark side is also present in these little figures, death is far less visible these days (unless you shoot, and the odd bit of roadkill – but we don’t stop to look too closely anyway – do we?) In the Victorian era it was much more a part of life. There is a subtle rebelliousness in the creation these figures, against all the boring PC ness of our world, there is also a great humour, for this I like them. Would I buy one – No. Would I keep it if I was given one, Yes.

    • muddystiletto January 14, 2014

      Hi Louise, I think you’ve summed them up perfectly. I love their kitschness, and the care that’s been taken over the clothes, and the fact that all the animals were dead by natural causes anyway, but you have to have a certain sensibility to buy them. But you know, it takes all sorts and I’m sure there’s a market for it! Hero x

  • M Packer January 14, 2014

    Hi Hero, that Mole looks like Tommy Cooper ! what an art the Victorians would have loved them and like all art they have place . My Ginger Tom might have to earn his keep from now on as he brings back the cutest looking Gliss Gliss x

  • Rachel B January 15, 2014

    Julie’s work is art and art divides people! I was prepared to be totally grossed out by her work, I know her and have been hearing about her project for some time… then I saw them and held them. They are incredible… beautiful, funny, soft, exquisitely crafted by an intelligent artist with a big heart and a super sense of humour. Not scary at all. Taxidermy is having it’s moment, a revival perhaps, and I am intrigued by this ancient practice and the golden age of taxidermy in Victorian England. If it hadn’t been for Julie I doubt I would have given it a second thought. Each piece actually makes you smile rather than wince… I have been challenged and it’s great 🙂


Tell us what you think

Your email address will not be published.

* Required
* Required

Little Black Book

The Little Black Book

Our A-Z of the grooviest local businesses to help make your life easier

View the businesses
Home icon Back Home

The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Bucks & Oxon