I suppose it would be more accurate to call this a tawing project, but I’m not totally sure how that word is defined. Anyway, this skin isn’t actually tanned, because if it gets wet, it will revert to rawhide. I basically did a brain tan, only I used eggs instead of brains. It’s the emulsified oils in the brains that do the work, and the eggs have them also. I wasn’t quite ready to deal with brains, so this was a good starter version. To truly tan it, I would need to smoke it over a campfire for a few hours, which actually changes the chemical composition of the fibers.

tanned Pacific Jumping Mouse skin

It’s a Pacific Jumping Mouse, and its skin is so fine that it is completely transparent when it dries. In fact, it’s so fine that I have a hard time telling if I’ve done it right. If you do it wrong, the skin turns into rawhide, but little mouse rawhide is still pretty soft. So I’m actually doing an experiment and letting the rainwater wash off the treatment today. We’ll see if it dries differently without the eggs.

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