Arctic Skeletons specializes in conservation of skulls and skeletons, and creating art from bones. The company is owned by skeleton curator Guus Wellesen, and is built on more than 20 years of experience within the field.
Originally from the Netherlands, Guus has been working on skulls and skeletons since he was a kid. In 2012 he established the company Arctic Skeletons and has since delivered skeletons to both museums and private exhibitions, ranging from the smallest mouse to large dolphins.
In order to work with dead wild animals in Norway, you must have the correct education and authorization from the Norwegian Environmental Agency. Guus is licensed as a taxidermist in the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway, and has also studied forest and nature conservation in the Netherlands and fish and wildlife management in Sweden. Collaborations and apprenticeships with the best conservators in Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands have contributed to a trained eye for detailed work, and increased experience in the use of various techniques and materials. Quality is always in focus, and many hours are put in every single product.
Arctic Skeletons doesn't use animals that are killed for the sole purpose of skeletal preservation. The animals have a natural cause of death and come from veterinarians, zoos, fishermen, pet stores, roadkills or victims of windows and electrical wires. If you know where to look, there will be more casualties to prepare than there is time to work, and it is therefore not necessary to kill animals to produce skeletons.
Arctic Skeletons aims to display the beautiful anatomical structures of a skeleton, and adaptations species have to their specific way of life. In addition, it is important to contribute to an increased interest and understanding of nature, in order to take better care of the living world we have around us.
WHAT CAN I OFFER?
Arctic Skeletons uses animals that have died a natural death. Preferably, the animals are fresh and have as little damage as possible. From having a dead animal with skin and hair to a clean and beautifully assembled skeleton, many different techniques are used along the way.
Quality is reflected in the cleanness of the bone. It is important that bones are clean on the surface, but not in the least on the inside as well. Fat and marrow must be removed to obtain white bones that do not turn yellow in time. Anatomy is something equally important, a lynx walks differently than a mouse and a crow sits differently than a goshawk. The smallest bones must be in the right place in order to call a skeleton 'complete'.
Different types of animals require different cleaning techniques. A dolphin needs a different approach than a toad, and with experience from many different types of vertebrates, Arctic Skeletons is able to bring new life to most dead animals. Arctic Skeletons offers tailor-made solutions, with artistic designs or additions that reflect the biology of the species. Abstract art made of appealing bones belongs also to the possibilities.
Please get in contact if you are looking for skeletons of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds or fish.
Guus has won the World Championship in the US in 2011 and achieved the highest place in the European Championship in 2015 in skeletal preservation. In 2013, Arctic Skeletons won the Marked Prize at the acknowledged Norwegian sales exhibition for arts and crafts "Rennebumartnan" for the best overall stand presentation.
Arctic Skeletons has produced skeletons and performed work for most major museums in Norway and several other institutions. Many have received Arctic Skeletons' lectures on skeletal work in schools and associations, as well as topics related to nature conservation and acknowledging the value of our wildlife.
Video content from various media can be viewed below, in addition to an overview of museums and institutes Arctic Skeletons has collaborated with.