by Inigo del Castillo in New Products on Thursday 6 March 2014

The taxidermy mice chess set the bar high in terms of strange novelty gifts. Because, you know, it’s not every day you find stiff dead rodents wielding swords and wearing crowns. So we interviewed Rachael Garcia, the woman behind the mice, to shed more light on this bizarre piece of art. [Read our original post about this chess set here]

Where did you get the idea of turning taxidermy mice into pieces for a chess set?
Well, I have always been fascinated by the game, although I do not play myself. In high school, I began work on a chess set made from clay, that unfortunately I never completed, and the pieces that were finished were lost due to hurricane damage.  

After I started doing taxidermy, I was trying to come up with a large piece that might attract some attention at a horror convention I was vending at, and I remembered my old chess set. It just seemed too fun not to try. It did get some attention at the show but did not sell, I decided to try it out on Etsy and before I knew it was all over the internet.

How does it feel that many are requesting that you make more mice chess sets, despite their inherent creepy factor?
I love that people are loving my chess set, and I am happy to make more.

Your shop’s slogan is ‘specializing in strange’. Do you consider your taxidermy mice true to your motto, especially considering a lot of people have been weirded out by them?
I think that for every person that sees my chess set and thinks ‘wow that’s awesome’, there are just as many that think ‘oh my, that’s so gross’. I feel like any reaction is better than no reaction at all. I think I stay pretty true to my slogan of specializing in strange, I surely don’t make anything that would be considered normal. Another slogan I like to use is ‘Delightfully deceased’, and I am always true to that: ‘I make dead things look really cute’!

We’ve seen taxidermy Marilyn Monroe, taxidermy Dracula, and taxidermy Pulp rodents. What characters are you planning to do next?
I have so many things planned I add to my list daily. So far I have made a few custom orders: a surfer mouse, slash from guns and roses, a life guard. I love the custom pieces because each one is a challenge, and I love a good challenge. The possibilities are endless. I also just got a request from my mother to make to make a little old lady mouse for my 95 year old grandma, I just have to find a tiny mouse size rocking chair to sit it in.