Face in the Crowd: Kayla Mulkins

Junior Kayla Mulkins talks about her morbid curiosity, her travels and love for everything English.

Caroline Hung, Centerspread Editor

Explain taxidermy to me.

Taxidermy means the preservation of the skin. You just split the skin, then soak it in mineral spirits. I stuff the animals with cotton and sew them up for display.

What animal do you use?

I don’t kill animals. My cat likes to catch small voles [field rats], so I have only been doing those so far.

Why did you start?

I started taxidermy last summer out of boredom and a morbid curiosity. I’m self-taught, using lots of internet guides and tutorials. [Kayla produces two voles from a tupperware case.] These are Anthony and Harper. I name all my taxidermy animals from literary characters.

You said that you’ve been to 15 countries. How?

My family thought they would expose me to travel very young. By travelling, I realized I want to live the rest of my life in England.

What is it about England?

It’s so old and has such a rich, charming history. I visited Oxford over break and they were celebrating their 700th anniversary. My favorite food is British food, which is the most underrated.

Is Oxford your top-choice?

My top choice is actually Royal Holloway University. It’s a school with a very unique English program and courses classified as nontraditional. Fun fact: it’s the most flammable building in England. The walls are lined with hay and kerosene to insulate and end the rat problem simultaneously. But it’s not very safe.

Do you like to bake?

I’m capable of baking pastries. But, when it comes to dinner food, I can make very limited things. I don’t mind. I can live off of scones.

Describe your fashion.

Bows, lace, ribbons and cuteness. I also really like military-style clothes and Alice in Wonderland type things.