After studying the drawings from 'Corpse Bride' I noticed that the presence of antlers and skulls mounted on the walls of the room resulted in morbid dark gothic style that would be very appropriate for the study (skulls illude to death very boldly) I started off by looking through books of various deer varieties and found that the Roe Deer (which is very common around Britian) is also very common across most of Europe including Russia, so would have most likely been the deer mounted on Ivan's wall. Red deer are also common but Roe deer skulls were easier for me to locate.
I started off by making some observations from the referance books on deer antlers, size and age etc also looking at the skull shapes.
I managed to get hold of three Roe deer skulls from my uncle who was a game keeper. He also tutored me in the best way to mount them to a wooden shield. I offered the question to the group whether they wanted me to mount them all on one shield or on individual shields. More interest seemed to direct to them all being on the same one, so I made a template out of card then marked this up on thin MDF. The MDF was cut using a jigsaw and then the edges were sanded with a mouse sander (I made this at home and unfortunatly did not have a router). To gain a similar effect as a router I cut another shield 1cm smaller around the edge that was then evosticked onto the base shield. By lining the skulls onto the MDF I marked their position and drilled the three necessary holes. It was important to drill the wood screw into the central part of the skull as this was the thickest area of dense bone and would be less likely to split and chip. I removed the skulls and then gave the shield two thick coats of dark oak stained varnish leaving the surface looking like a more expensive darker wood rather than MDF. The skulls were then screwed back onto the shield tightly to avoid scratching the varnish, Then mounted two mirror fixing plates to the back that would allow us to easily hang them to the walls.