The Days of Our Lives: Julia deVille, Jeweller and Taxidermist

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In The Days of Our Lives we meet some fascinating and creative folk and take a look at what their typical day holds. Far from being about the mundane, it is a celebration of what it takes to juggle the day-to-day with big ideas, a successful business and a full home life. It’s about keeping all the balls in the air – what is important and what isn’t. It’s about (extra)ordinary moments that fill our every day.

This week, I want to introduce you to Julia deVille. Drawing on Renaissance, Baroque and Victorian art, Julia creates jewelry and sculptures that serve as a contemporary Memento Mori – a reminder of mortality.

Perhaps best known for her use of taxidermy, this passionate animal rights campaigner only ever uses creatures that have died a natural death to create her grimly beautiful works. “The nature of our culture is to obsess over planning the future, however, in doing so we forget to enjoy the present,“ says Julia. “I consider my taxidermy to be a celebration of life, a preservation of something beautiful.”

This is a day in Julia’s life.


7.30 am

Wake up, shower etc


8.00 am

Make kale smoothie – my partner and I live off these. We drink a litre each most days. Being vegan, means I need to eat a tonne of greens to get my daily protein and iron requirements.


8.30 am

Meditate. This has been a little difficult lately as the house across the lane way has been demolished and is in the process of being rebuilt – the noise is very distracting…

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9.00 am

Get ready to go into the city – decide on what gemstones I need to buy etc. Leave work to be done, by my assistants.


9.30 am

Ride bike into the city


9.45 am

Go to my suppliers to purchase gemstones, metal etc


10.30 am – 12.30 pm

Yoga – I practice at The Yoga Arts Academy. I try to go five times a week but when I’m coming up to an exhibition this becomes more like three times a week.

It’s a great school because each student is taught their own practice and you just turn up when you like, start your practice and the teachers come around and adjust you then move you on to the next level when you’re ready. This is also good because I can just do an hour if I’m flat out.

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12.30 pm

Ride back to the studio (home)


12.45 pm

Check emails – there’s normally about 50 to reply to by this time. I also have most of my private clients come by around this time so I have time to do quotes for what they are after, once they leave.


2.00 pm

Make engagement rings, custom rings and other one off pieces of jewellery. Do client quotes


3.00 pm

Adorn taxidermy works for exhibitions/plan out works for upcoming exhibitions.

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5.00 pm

Walk dogs – I try to take them on a long walk everyday but often it’s just too hectic and we just go for 15 – 30 minutes.


6.00 pm

More emails. Price new jewellery pieces.


7.00 pm

Make salad and watch some Breaking Bad/Falling Skies with my partner. Continue with small jobs that can be done in living room – like picking out stones for rings


10.00 pm

Go to bed and read (or just pass out).


You can follow Julia on Instagram and Facebook.

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