I have a question and want some feedback. I did a skin mount of a 53 lb. king salmon using the original re-built head 5 years ago. I took it back a year later to partially strip and repaint due to grease out. I did the best job I could with the knowledge and experience I had on big salmon at the time and have repaired it once already. The customer brought it back again and this time it has more grease showing than before, also the skin is splitting and lifting around all epoxy repair areas, the head to body seam, around pectoral fin bases, throat, areas of the head etc. Lots of areas are sticky to the touch which means more grease underneath. I don't feel it is repairable. My question is what liability should I assume after 5 years? Should I offer a reproduction at cost? I think that is fair. I feel any attempts at repair are a waste of time.What do you guys think?
Return to Fish Taxidermy Category Menu
Yours was a hard lesson learned about saltwater, large cold water species. My opinion, the results you experience are inevitable without using reproduction heads and fins on the cold water guys. I'd be honest with the customer and tell him that any repairs can only hope to be temporary and that you believe the only lasting "cure" for the problem no lies in a reproduction replacement which you'd be delighted to provide at cost. You're going to lose in this one, but I feel you have a better chance at protecting your reputation. You can't put a price on that.
I would either replace the head or offer a repo at a 17% discount. I use a odd figure. as it allows for you to be paid for your work.
You may get by with the head replacement. use Easy off oven cleaner once you strip the paint from the fish.
One reason that is hard to warranty taxidermy work is you have no control over when it leaves your shop.
Be as good to your client as possible.
Did you charge him normal commercial price for the mount, did he know your status as a fish taxidermist? all these should be considered.
A cold water species, of that size should have had the fins and head reproduced.As John C. said it was lack of experience
This is why I stopped doing skin mounts and started doing glass in 1975 . Glass looks better.
I offer lifetime guarantees on my craftmanship in my shop. I will repair or replace any mount that has been damaged due to my neglect in craftmanship. I personaly believe that if you mentioned a guarantee you are now obligated to repair it for as long as that guarantee period is in effect. If this means replace the fish with a repro I also feel that you are liable for that cost as well. I would not charge the customer for something he already paid for --a professional service. If you never made mention of a guarantee I would then offer to the customer a discounted reproduction. Guarantees are a great advertising tool if backed with proper expertise and experience. Good luck with your customer relations.
Gary hit it on the nail. When you did it you probably told the guy you stood behind your work as you should. hard lesson learned but has to be done the good part is the customer will talk you up that you took care of it and word of mouth can be worth a million dollars or minus some. You will be out the cost of a blank then your time to make it right.
Ah yes the Great lakes salmon and trout are notorious for having grease spots Sorry to hear of your pain but the advice is very true,..Stand by your reputaion ! you've work hard for it and it's easy to lose by a single disatified customer.
Learn to mold these fish the fish blanks really don't offer the unique shape each of these fish have and unless you have good referance photo's of there fish and can come close.
some people squak until you show them a grease leaker and offer no quarantee on a skin mount. it's been a problem and freeze dried eventually will do the same