SkULL CARVING Book – Complete guide to tools and techniques for carving animal skulls

A comprehensive guide on carving animal skulls that will give you the confidence to get started and not screw up! Includes over 240 photos and case studies for different skull and bone carving methods. Skull Carving: A Complete Guide to Tools and Techniques for Carving Animal Skulls is the perfect resource for getting started carving animal skulls and improving your skills as you progress. Hunter lays out information in a basic and easy way to understand as well as diving deep into bone carving to better help the reader feel prepared to start carving! From tools to techniques, to skulls and staining, you will get practical guidance on creating amazing unique works of art. Are you ready to become a skull carver?!

I teach techniques and principles for skull carving and skull art

A Beginner’s Guide to Skull/Bone Carving

If you are interested in learning how to start carving skulls I put together a short guide! It’s 7 pages and I cover the tools you need, preparing the skull, burrs that I think are great for starting out, styles of carving, and safety equipment. It’s free and you can download it below.

SKULL MONEY E-BOOK

How to set up your skull business so that you get noticed and get paid. If you are going to try and make money from skull carving or skull art, you’d better do it right! I cover the business side of selling skulls and how to set yourself apart so that you actually sell skulls and make money.

FREE BOBCAT SKULL ANATOMY POSTER

I paid a professional photographer to take high quality photos of this bobcat skull I have and then made this poster. You are free to use the poster however you like, displayed with your collection, in a classroom, for your kids, or simply as decor. I labelled 18 different parts of the skull!

TOOLS

Here are the tools and resources I personally use and recommend.

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40+ Videos on Youtube

I have a number of helpful videos on my YouTube channel. Subscribe to keep up to date with the latest content!

Dremel 4000

The number one tool you will need to carve skulls is some type of rotary tool. I much prefer the Dremel 4000 for carving for several reasons. The Dremel 4000 has a speed range of 5,000-35,000 rpm and a 1.6 amp motor, making it both great for carving out large areas of tough bone as well as carving finer work at the higher speeds.

Flex shaft

Using some type of flexible shaft attachment to your rotary tool is really going to make carving skulls easier, as well as allowing you to do finer work. Holding a heavy rotary tool can be hard on your hands and simply does not allow for the same free movement that a flexible shaft will. I used the Dremel brand Flex Shaft with my Dremel 4000.

Adjustable Chuck

An adjustable chuck is kind of an undiscovered genie of a tool as it opens up so many opportunities for different burrs that regular collets just can’t do. Using an adjustable chuck allows you to use larger shafted burrs as well as small dentist burrs. The adjustable chuck ensures a good fit for each burr, which cuts down on any wobble you might get with collets.

Respirator

Breathing in bone dust can be very bad for your lungs so make sure you are wearing a good respirator! I like the 3M rated for lead paint as it will protect you from micro particles and has replaceable cartridges.

Ear Protection

Although not a must, I still recommend using some form of ear protection as any type of rotary tool can irritate your ears over an extended period of time.

Ball Carbide Burr

(#105 from Dremel). This ball burr is great for outlining designs, stippling, and adding detail to a skull carving design.

Inverted Cone Burr

(#108 from Dremel). This is my go-to burr as it is great for creating crisp clean lines. You can use this burr to clean the outlines of a design, do checkering, or any other straight line on a skull.

Cylinder Carbide Burr

(#111 from Dremel). Similar to an inverted cone burr, this will carve clean lines. The advantage to this burr is that it will remove more material when you carve, making for a larger valley and a more 2D effect.

Large Ball Carbide Burr

(#107 from Dremel). Similar to the #105, this is great for making more defined outlines and removing negative space around a design.

Diamond Dust Football Burr

Use this burr for smoothing out areas around a design and for shaping areas of a design that have more gentle shapes.

Skull Carving Designs

9 Patriotic Template Designs for Deer Skulls

Use these 9 different design templates for carving on deer and similar shaped skulls. I design each template to fit the shape of a deer skull. These are beginner/intermediate designs that can be used as practice or for clients and can be modified as you see fit. These designs can be used for all uses including commercial and personal.

9 CELTIC DESIGNS FOR DEER SKULLS

This set of designs includes 3 beginner, 3 intermediate, and 3 advanced Celtic style designs. These have been specifically made to fit the shape and contour of a deer skull for carving. Use these as practice or for clients and modify the designs as you see fit. These designs can be used for all uses including commercial and personal.

9 Western Floral Designs for Deer Skulls

This set of designs includes beginner and intermediate level western floral style designs. These have been specifically made to fit the shape and contour of a deer skull for carving. Use these as practice or for clients and modify the designs as you see fit. These designs can be used for all uses including commercial and personal.

9 CELTIC CROSS TEMPLATES FOR DEER AND COW SKULLS

This set of templates includes 9 beginner / intermediate Celtic style crosses. These have been specifically made to fit the shape and contour of a deer and cow skull for carving. Use these as practice or for clients and modify the designs as you see fit. These designs can be used for all uses including commercial and personal.

4 Easy steps to carve a realistic feather

Want to carve feathers on a skull that look like these? This is a one page instruction guide that shows you what you will need and the proper steps to carve a feather. The process is not complicated and is quite fun. You can do this!

9 Western-themed skull carving designs

9 Free Western Designs for Skull Carving! Included are 9 different pictogram style western-themed designs you can use freely to practice carving. Designs are beginner to advanced as any level of detail can be added to the basic design. I commissioned Anna Ježková (artist) to specifically make these for carving skulls. Designs can be transferred to a skull using my transfer method here.

Blog

How to inlay snakeskin into a skull (and other mediums)

How to inlay snakeskin into a skull (and other mediums)

The following is the process I use to do snakeskin inlay on skulls. You can also use this method on other mediums (knife handles, etc.) and even with other materials (using fabric, etc. instead of snakeskin for the inlay). Using this method gives you an inlay that is...

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Cleaning Skull with Maggots

Cleaning Skull with Maggots

One somewhat surprising method for cleaning skulls fairly quickly is to use maggots. This method is not particularly hard and doesn’t require a lot of effort which is great. There are just a few things to understand and keep in mind that will make this a great option....

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How To Metalize a Skull With a Real Metal Finish

How To Metalize a Skull With a Real Metal Finish

  In this article I am going to cover the steps to metalizing a skull. A lot of people are looking for something different for their European mounts and a metal finish is just the thing to give a skull a very classy look. The following is not a fake metal...

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How to Clean a Buck Skull Using Maceration

How to Clean a Buck Skull Using Maceration

Cleaning an antlered deer skull using maceration. Maceration is the process in which bacteria produces enzymes which break down organic matter. Putting a skull in a bucket of water and letting the bacteria grow and macerate a skull is actually the same thing that is...

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How To Make Walnut Stain for Skulls and Bones

How To Make Walnut Stain for Skulls and Bones

So here's a natural alternative to staining skulls and bones, use walnut husks! Depending on where you are in the country (or world for that matter) walnut trees are a common sight. It doesn't matter if they are still green or dried up, they will make a dark dye...

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How to Transfer a Design Onto a Skull

How to Transfer a Design Onto a Skull

  I get asked a lot about how I get really clean and proportionate designs onto skulls. Well, here is the trick! Transferring a design onto a skull is super easy using Gloss Gel and saves you the time...

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Hunter Richardson

Warrenton, VA

540-222-2020