She said she wanted to be a vet when she was growing up but her interest in art — as well as dead animals — led her to taxidermy.

"I used to pick up road kill when I was a kid," she said.

Innamorato found an elderly taxidermist who, unlike many in the business, was willing to take on a woman as an apprentice.

As an art major at the State University of New York at New Paltz, Innamorato blurred the lines between taxidermy and sculpture, including preserved animals in gallery shows.

"My professors didn't care, but Health & Safety came in," she said, explaining it took months to persuade university officials that the taxidermied animals did not pose health concerns.

Innamorato, along with Divya Anantharaman, who is teaching the mole workshop at Bazaar, is a taxidermist-in-residence at Brooklyn's Morbid Anatomy Museum. She has been featured on two TV shows, "Oddities" and "Odd Folks Home," and has taught workshops around the country.

Innamorato floated through the classroom, guiding students as they pushed in the scalpels just below the base of the guinea pigs' skulls. They sliced along the spine, then peeled the skin from the creatures' muscles and viscera, which, several people pointed out, looked rather like raw chicken.

Jody Sanford, 51, collected the discarded organs and muscles to leave in the woods near her farm in Freeland for other animals to eat.

The guinea pigs used for the class were "feeders" — animals bred to be fed to snakes or other pets. Rogue taxidermists generally do not kill creatues for taxidermy, preferring to use road kill or animals that have died naturally. However, animals that have been killed for food, either human or pet, occupy a "gray area," said Marbury, president of the rogue taxidermy association.

Such animals are often used for workshops, as they are likely to be uniform, in good condition, and free of diseases or pests.

Eleni Diamantopoulos had her own way of demonstrating respect for her guinea pig. She gave it a name: Eloise.

A graphic designer for the Netflix series "House of Cards," Diamantopoulos and her wife, artist Nikki Diamantopoulos, said they've gotten hooked on taxidermy since Bazaar opened last year. They have several pieces in their Hampden home and gave taxidermied ducklings to guests at their wedding last summer.

Despite her appreciation for taxidermy, Eleni Diamantopoulos said the actual act of cutting into the dead body of a guinea pig made her queasy.

The room smelled like rubbing alcohol — which is used to dry and preserve the skins — and a faint, animal smell a little like cat food.

The work was tedious. After removing the animals' muscles and organs, the students spent more than an hour scraping bits of tissue off the inside of the skin, a process called "fleshing."

"It sucks when you're doing this with a bear," said Innamorato. "It takes hours and hours."

The participants then soaked the skins, dried them, stuffed them and sewed them back up. The faces required delicate work, as did preserving the creatures' fragile pink ears.

Chris Ridings of Staunton, Va., accidentally sliced off one of his guinea pig's paws, necessitating some painstaking needlework.

"It's hard to sew white fur onto white fur," said the 28-year-old social worker.

As the students sewed quail wings to the guinea pigs' backs, Innamorato explained that the list of animals on which you can perform taxidermy is rather short. Many birds are considered protected species, and can't be used for taxidermy even when they are found dead. Laws about preserving larger animals, such as deer, vary widely from state to state.