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Thu, Nov 10


Pacolet Library

Furs, leathers, hides and skulls with Neil Pylant

Touch and feel, ethically sourced, fur and hide education with a discussion about hibernation.

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Furs, leathers, hides and skulls with Neil Pylant
Furs, leathers, hides and skulls with Neil Pylant

Time & Location

Nov 10, 2022, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Pacolet Library, 390 W Main St, Pacolet, SC 29372, USA


About the event

Join us in the meeting room of The Pacolet Library for a unique learning experience! Neil Pylant will travel to us from the mountains of Bakersville, NC and he's bringing his animal furs, hides, skins and skulls with him! Neil will allow us to touch, hold, feel and ask questions about these items. Neil is an experienced tanner, making leather from animal skins for eleven years. He will be available to talk with us about his process (with full details if asked) while discussing animal hibernation in Winter and the preparation thereof. He will have lots of interesting natural objects for us to see and explore!

Due to Neil's generosity, this is a free event. Monetary donations to help with Neil's travel expenses are welcome. I can handle the collection of any donations and deliver them to Neil as a nice surprise at the end of the event. Alternatively, if you would like to make a donation to Neil beforehand, I can collect donations via Venmo at @WendyMcCartyArtist or PayPal

Please make sure to choose the "friends and family" option if you choose to go this route. Thank you!


Driven by his love of nature and the desire to live more simply, this born and bred city dweller of 50 years left his former life to go live in the woods of Appalachia with his wife. One of the first changes he desired was to provide the majority of their own fresh meat as a way of being responsible and respectful of the lives taken for nourishment. Loving animals as much as he does, this is no easy task. The first deer he shot in 2010 brought about mixed emotions; sorrow for the loss of life, gratitude for the meat and learning the new skills of processing, and disgust at tossing that beautiful deerskin into the woods to rot like most every other modern hunter. Driven by that angst he spent the next 6 years, one or two skins a year, learning to make good quality buckskin. After 11 years, he would tell you he is still learning.

That one deerskin opened up a world he never could have imagined for himself. His interest grew to preserving furs and making leather and suede all with natural processes. He has tanned the skins of most types of animals found in the region though he has taken the lives of none but a few deer and the occasional garden-devouring groundhog which he also eats. His skins, and most of his meat, come by way of the unfortunate accidents of the country roads, sick or culled livestock, and from friends in the community that either hunt or remove “nuisance” animals.

These animals in their passing have blessed him with nourishment, with long hours of solitude, exercise, and meditation as he works, and continued passion and curiosity into the magic of skin and bones. They connect him with the entirety of human history, both past and present, and feed his desire to reduce waste and use what is often discarded for something meaningful. Yet another gift is that they have recently begun to draw him out of his woodland space to share them, and himself, with others.

In the beginning, he believed that he was transforming the skins. He now believes they are transforming him.

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