Sunday Morning questions(SMQ's) part 36
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Rick Krane
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« on: October 29, 2006, 01:00:03 AM »

Week 36

Good Sunday Morning! I hope all your families are well and you had a productive week. I hope that the questions this week share some practical direction or thoughts for all of us who read and want to get a new idea or two!

Last week was a great week for contributors! The world of fish taxidermy is so full of great folks like you who give so freely and share your world of knowledge! I thank you and so do all the readers!

This weeks winner of the Mega CD is Clifftax of NY! Congratulation Cliff! This week there will not be a question for a Mega CD of fish photos however if you have never posted before I will give one free 250 plus photo CD to anyone who takes a guess on the SMQs. This is how it will work. In the beginning of your answers to the questions post and then pick a number between 1-101 and the person closes to the number I have already chosen will win! I have submitted the number already to Bill Yox! He can't be bought or Bribed! LOL!

1. How do you dry your fish? Fan, heat. Ect, how do you dry them up?

2. How low do you keep your shop temp in the cold months? What is the average temperature of your shop?

3. How do you get a paint schedule from reference pictures?

4. Do you match colors to photos or do you paint with a basic general color schedule?

5. List 3 typical sizes of the most common fish you mount.  Bass, Trout, Salmon. Etc.

6. In setting up a business how do you find?
A. A credit card company for your sales?
B. A CPA for your taxes?
C. A Lawyer for your business dealing?
D. A insurance agent to protect your assets of business?

7. What are 3 things you need before you open your doors in a taxidermy business?

8. How long to you soak your fish in your pickle or your degreasing solution? How do you know when your fish is ready to come out?

9. What colors of green do you use? What are your favorite greens and how do they make your fish look better? Maybe list the greens you use and tell us why?

Bonus Question
10. Why would a customer one bring you a fish to mount? What makes you stand apart and a good choice for a customer?


Give it a shot!
 
Any one who emails me personally with the answers will get a few free reference photos from my personal collection. I still want you to answer here so other can benefit form your input on this topic line.

It is all because of you and your awesome replies this has become so successful!
From beginners to the seasoned pro's every one contributes and all benefit from your great experiences! Let see if I we can get more responses on the forum as well as in my email. I will give you some free fish reference photos for the asking just for contributing! As always I just think your answers are so good more and more contribute on here for all see!

My Best and have fun with this!

Rick Krane
Anglers Artistry
312 Chesterfield Rd
Hinsdale, NH 03451
603.336.7296

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JP a.k.a Taxi-lover
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2006, 03:30:36 AM »

1. Normally in room temperature, sometimes add some heat.
2. Average temp is something 20 celsius degree
3. I try to match colors with trying and mixing paints. First I try figure out  a base color and then add colors top of it.
4.Mostly I paint with ready paint schedules but almost every time I would also arrange them for a individuall fish. If I don't have a paint schedule awailable, i'll try to figure out it from reference.
5. Perch from 0,5 to 1,5 kg, pike from 5 to 10 kg and trout from1 to 3 kg.
6. I'm not in business,just for hobby...
7. Space, advertisement and tools (and customers of course!!)
8. Couple of days in pickle and couple of hours in degreasing average. Depending of fish I'm mounting...
9. Mostly used greens are medium (bass) green and light green. And mixtures of different greens. Also yellowgreen is pretty commonly used.
10. Like said before I'm not very active mounting fishes but do carvings. I think I'm pretty only one in my country to do a realistic fish carvings, hope thast is one reason to me make carvings for customers. Fish taxidermy is raising part of taxidermy in my country and I hope I can mount a fish enough good to make customers..but like sais, I'm only hobbyist! ;)
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DavidB
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2006, 04:12:03 AM »

Hey Rick, I don't do many fish myself but I figured it was time I go ahead and give your SMQ a shot....oh yeah and # 53

1.Just hang them to the side and let them dry at shop temp.
2.Winter time I use very little heat unless I know its going to freeze at night so I would guess about 65...in the summer about 68
3.Use the best ref. photos I can get and start with the base colors and start adding depending on what I see...keep notes of what I am doing, what works, and what doesn't work...then put it all together at the end to follow next time
4.I have paint schedules that I  use to get things going but really use ref. photos and any notes I made on the fish if it was fresh when I got it.
5. 6-10lb lm bass, 1.5-3 lb crappie, 3-8 lb trout
6. a-I do not currently take credit cards but i have done research on it just by calling or looking on the web
    b-CPA with good reputation and luckily one that has dealt with another taxidermist for 20 yrs, so they had an idea of what I     was doing and needed.
    c-Again one with good reputation, that has other businesses as clients
    d-Check with your current home mortgage/insurance company and if they can't help start checking with other business insurance carriers that covers not only the building and equipment but liability and injury.
7.Taxidermy state/fed lic., business lic., money and most important a CT of your brain, cause you don't know what your getting into
8. Depends on the type of fish but pickle at least 24 hrs---a couple months (oops, forgot it was in there but turned out great)...decreasing solution depends on fish but usually 30 min--a couple hours.....i usually can tell by feel and how it looks
9. For bass medium and dark green, but alot of times my own mixture.....sometimes  trout green
10. Even thou I don't like to do alot of fish myself, when I do most people really like them and tell there friends and show off pictures then they show up and want theirs to look as good as his and so forth.
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Frank E. Kotula
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2006, 07:02:30 AM »

#36

1. How do you dry your fish? Fan, heat. Etc, how do you dry them up?

Mine are placed by my furnice. It's dry and warm there.

2. How low do you keep your shop temp in the cold months? What is the average temperature of your shop? Mine is heated by the furnice

3. How do you get a paint schedule from reference pictures? I look at the photo in a small circle and try to decipher what colors are underlying. This make my paint schedule.

4. Do you match colors to photos or do you paint with a basic general color schedule?
I try my best to make it look like the photo, no guarantee's

5. List 3 typical sizes of the most common fish you mount.  Bass, Trout, Salmon. Etc.
Bass 19"
Trout 18"
Salmon 45"
Pike and musky 47"
bluegill's 6" child's first

6. In setting up a business how do you find?
A. A credit card company for your sales?
Look for what they charge you monthly for having this and also see what are the costs for swiping a card

B. A CPA for your taxes?
Mine is our house one who does major business's all the time. So I never had to look.

C. A Lawyer for your business dealing?
Look for a person who knows someting about the business before you choose.

D. A insurance agent to protect your assets of business?
Mine is the house one. They have a policy for those who have business's in the house and how to protect that part from the rest of the house.

7. What are 3 things you need before you open your doors in a taxidermy business?
what does it cost you for: electric, heat, water, over head, profit for and to replace equipment, health insurance ( you do need this).What your family needs to run the household.

8. How long to you soak your fish in your pickle or your degreasing solution? 20 minutes

How do you know when your fish is ready to come out? It's just a normal soaking I've been doing for years

9. What colors of green do you use? Mostly transparent green

 What are your favorite greens and how do they make your fish look better? All of them and it depends on what look you want.

Maybe list the greens you use and tell us why?
Transparent for the body to get the depths and tones then the opaques for the fins. Fins are not as transparent as what most folks think they are. Mike Otheber (sorry if I killed it Mike) showed me this and explained this to me.

Bonus Question
10. Why would a customer one bring you a fish to mount?
They don't have to is one of the first things I say to them. I educate them on the different process's out there. Then they can choose what they may want.

 What makes you stand apart and a good choice for a customer?
The quality of work I do and the grantee I also give them.

« Last Edit: October 29, 2006, 04:46:45 PM by Frank E. Kotula » Logged

Frank E. Kotula
http://www.FranksWildlifeStudio.com
one on one classes 570-819-0391
All phases of taxidermy
Bill H
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2006, 07:25:11 AM »

Good morning Rick
 
I'm at home reading your SMQ and thought I would give it a try..so here goes
 
1 I keep my area around 68, I run a waterfowl studio, but as you know am just getting to the fish and after mounting, I do move them closer to the heat source over night, then move them to normal temp.
 
2. again I average 68
 
3. just learning how, mostly by eye. each time I paint I seen to use a different color schem
 
4. I try to match, although I only have a few under my belt. Frank K. taught me to study the reference and paint what you see, not what a book says.
 
5.  Average bass 14 - 16 "  mostly steelhead 28 -34"  lake Erie
 
6.  A. don't use them
    B. a trusted friend
    C.  Haven't needed one....yet
    D.  I use the same agent for all my assets
 
7.  Education, good people skills, and a desire to put forth the effort and sacrafices needed to succeed.
 
8.  I soak for about two hours, not sure if this proper, but I haven't had any troubles
 
9.  Don't really have a list or favorites.
 
10.  Like I said earlier, I run a successful waterfowl studio with very good clients.  They have actually steered me toward fish.  I have been told if you can do this with feathers, why don't you try scales.  I tell them its two completely different medias.  But I have always admired the fish taxidermists (the good ones)  And have always wanted to be able to make a fish look like a fish and not some washed up on the beach.
 
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ArtisticAnglerInc.
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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2006, 11:41:19 AM »

My guess for the # is75

1. I dry my fish by hanging them in front of fans, and I leave the fans running constantly. I also rotate the fish constantly so that it gets hit from all angles.

2. My shops average temp is around 70 degrees....I have AC as well as heat. Being in Texas...the temp is fairly stable, summer is the only issue.

3. I usualy just look at reference pics when I paint, I dont really use a paint schedule. Its just a matter of breaking down the colors for me.

4. I paint with primary colors and just a few extras.....I typically mix my own colors, The possibilities are endless this way.

5. Redfish..avg 37"+         Largemouth...avg 24"        Speckled trout...avg 28"

6. A-D I have a good group of people who I trust helping me along the way.

7. Before you open your doors for business I would think that one might need, a good business plan, some work to get you started, and people to do the work.....Im to simplistic to get into details about the rest.

8. I "tan" my fish overnight. no more than 24 hours. It seems to work well.

9. All of my greens start with yellow, and I mix according to what Im looking for........The only green I use is Yellow. I like the flexibilty it gives me, I can add a lil of this or a lil of that to get it where I want it.

10. A customer would bring me a fish if he talked to me. If he saw my enthusiasm and apreciation for all things fish. Hopefuly I could show him/her a few examples of my work, my attention to detail, and my understanding of how important their fish is to them.


Maybee not the best answers, some are short and sweet, but I will enjoy reading everyones posts.....Thanks Mr. Krane!
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Stan N
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2006, 03:26:03 PM »


My Guess this week is 89

1. How do you dry your fish? Fan, heat. Ect, how do you dry them up? We use a drying room with a wall heater and fans.

2. How low do you keep your shop temp in the cold months? What is the average temperature of your shop? 68 or so give or take.

3. How do you get a paint schedule from reference pictures? Using a picture is difficult because the finish photos may not be accurate. Look for primary colors.

4. Do you match colors to photos or do you paint with a basic general color schedule?  Basically individual fish to fish but we use a basic color scheme.

5. List 3 typical sizes of the most common fish you mount.  Bass, Trout, Salmon. Etc.
Bass 21 Trout 19 Salmon 38 Walleye 29 Brim 6-8

6. In setting up a business how do you find?
A. A credit card company for your sales? Today you can google it on line and fids the best rates and services.
B. A CPA for your taxes? Find someone that hunts and trade services.
C. A Lawyer for your business dealing? Do the same if you can.
D. A insurance agent to protect your assets of business? We have been using the same agent for years. Find a good local one.

7. What are 3 things you need before you open your doors in a taxidermy business? A plan, a budget for 6 months, and a back up plan.

8. How long to you soak your fish in your pickle or your degreasing solution? How do you know when your fish is ready to come out? Over night.

9. What colors of green do you use? What are your favorite greens and how do they make your fish look better? Maybe list the greens you use and tell us why? Transpar green and medium bass green.

10. Why would a customer one bring you a fish to mount? What makes you stand apart and a good choice for a customer? We deliver in a timely fashion and give quality for the sportsman dollar.

Debbie and Walter


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Pescado
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2006, 04:19:55 PM »

#69
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Paul Borkowski
Blue Ribbon Taxidermy & Supply
Agawa Canyon Outfitters, LTD.
UFD
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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2006, 05:46:49 PM »

1.  When drying fish, I first like to let them firm up slowly so that I can periodically check (over the first day or two) to see if everything is drying how it should, i.e., no drumming, buckling scales, minimal distortions to things like the lateral line, and the fins if using the real fins.  After things appear to be in good drying condition and the stage of distortions due to quick drying are over (usually within 3-5 days depending upon the size) I like to place a fan on them in the summer to fully lock things in place and get it as dry as possible as quick as possible.  In the winter it is the same program with the fan used to lock things in place and fully dry them, but I also like to place them near the air flow that the heater puts out so that when the heater comes on they get a little more warmth than just ambient temperature.  How long they dry depends of course upon their size, but also the oil content of the original fish.  Most of the time I am doing finish work within a couple weeks of mounting, but with some bright salmon I have waited sometimes up to 4-5 months just to make sure that they are through oil bleeding as much as possible. 

2.  In the cold months I like to keep the shop temperature so that it doesnt go much below 65 degrees F.  If I am spraying paint or doing fiberglass work (casting or grinding) and I have exhaust fans running which will pull cold air into the shop, it may get actually get into the 50s, but that isnt for too long and then the temps will rise again.  If one compares the time of the temps being low to them being my normal temperature, it is a relatively low percentage to not make a big deal with drying, etc.

3.  In general, when developing a paint schedule, I like to look at the reference pictures and pick out certain color features, lines, or traits that that particular species exhibits and then design the coloring around those features, lines, or traits.  Once I have a thorough enough understanding about what I am seeing in regards to how the color patterning is occurring in regards to that particular species, I will then take a closer look at what colors are generally appearing within those regions on a particular fish.  It may be very possible, in particular with spawning salmonids, that certain colors will show up in combination with other certain colors in contrasting areas of overlap on the fish that will be somewhat specific in circumstance.  For example, you may see a certain color of green showing up with a certain color of red, but only when the fish still has some silvery iridescence on the scales but not when that iridescence has completely disappeared.  (Those kinds of color relationships are almost worth a lifetime of study.)  Once the various areas of color on the fish are identified, I will then try to figure out what colors of paint that I have used before (this is where hands-on experience is utterly invaluable) that I can match those natural hues with, and not just an individual color but maybe even certain colors that I may use in combination of layers to get a more realistic effect.  Next I will look at the scale coloring detail and surmise in each area whether the scales appear lighter over a darker background or darker over a lighter background, and then try to further refine my sequence of colors so that possibly some layer of airbrushing will be able to highlight those scale colorations or the skin base color to a certain hue I may be trying to achieve with reference to the photo.  One of the last things I would do is try to figure out if any mottling that is appearing in the natural fish can be duplicated on the fish mount or replica and by using what color and at what point in the sequence so that I can slip those steps into the formula, and then the last step is to note the spotting and based upon how it appears figure out when I want to apply it.  For example, on brighter fish where the scale tipping overlaps some of the spots I may want to do it before tipping, and on some darker fish I may want to add it early and then later go over the spots again to create a multi-toned spot or marking.  Thats the basic process I use at this point in time when I am trying to figure out how to paint a fish, but in all truth I still havent gotten to the point where I am happy enough to stop looking at reference pictures to try and figure out a better way to do something, and I doubt Ill ever be happy enough to say enough is enough.

4.  In most situations I will try to match a color photo that the client supplies or I have taken of their fish, but sometimes I am faced with the situation of painting from what I may already know about a certain species of fish.  In those cases I will ask the client a series of questions pertaining to their fish in regards to its color stage or phase, and those questions are derived from those observations I have made from studying species-specific coloration patterning.  The approach to paint without reference is a big no-no, but I like to do it occasionally to test myself on what I think I know about a certain species and its life stage and to let me get a gauge of what I am not very sure of.   That is another way to keep the process fresh and not get into a rut where every fish looks exactly the same.  To quote Seinfeld, (from my perspective of every fish looking the same) Not that there is anything wrong with that, though!  :o LOL!

5.  The typical size Steelhead that I mount is from 36 to 43 inches, with the average being a solid twenty-pound fish.  The typical Chinook or King Salmon is a fish from 42 to 53, with the average being about 55 pounds.  Those two species make up the bulk of what I do, with an odd species thrown in here and there.  I guess the third most prevalent fish would be a Coho or Silver Salmon from 31 to 36, with the average fish being about 16 pounds.  The average LM Bass might be about 21 and the average SM Bass about 20, and it seems like Ive seen more big SM over the last several years than big LM.

6.  With credit card companies for sales, Id prefer to work with my local bank, unless I can find a really good rate tied with minimal service charges and low to no equipment rental or purchase charges.  One has to be careful and watch your statements, though, because a good thing rarely lasts very long before they start messing with the fees to their advantage, and pretty soon you find out it wasnt such a good deal after all.  With CPAs, attorneys, and insurance agents, I always have gotten some feedback from taxidermy colleagues as well as in talking with my clients as to who they recommend, and if you get your recommendations from folks who you feel are successful, you wont be steered wrong.  (At least Ive been lucky in that regard, anyway knock on wood-LOL).

7.  Some tangible things that you need before you start a taxidermy business are the proper licenses and permits, tools and general supplies in a suitable place to work that will make your potential customers have trust in you, some examples of work that you have done proving that you are commercially competent so that they can be used for advertising and wooing potential clients, and a business plan listing your goals so that you can adjust your operation if need be.  Some intangible things that will be needed is a healthy dose of perseverance laced with a dash of flexibility and imagination.

8.  I dont really know if what I do is considered a pickle as much as it is just a sequence of soaks to remove oil.  Most of the fish that I do have the potential to be very oily, so this is the process I have settled on after years of trying just about everything and getting mixed results.  The first step is to soak in a strong water-soluble detergent solution in water like Grease Buster (with some borax added).  Ill usually soak in that at least overnight to a day to remove most stains and blood and some oil.  After the skin is rinsed, the next solution is a 50/50 water and denatured alcohol mix, and Ill leave it in that one for at least 2 days.  That solution will become very yellow from oil after soaking as few as five skins.  After rinsing, I will then put it in a second mixture of the same alcohol solution but a cleaner, fresher solution that hasnt gotten as dirty from oil yet.  It will stay in that second alcohol solution for a minimum of two days up till a couple weeks depending upon my schedule.  I actually keep two batches of the alcohol solution since the second batch becomes the first batch after it gets dirty, and I am usually mixing up a fresh second batch every five skins or so, as soon as it starts to get that fluorescent orange-yellow color from the oil (at which point that solution becomes the first alcohol soak batch).  After taking from the second alcohol soak the skin is fairly stiff, so I will rinse it off quickly and then put it in a fresh batch of water, Grease Buster, and borax.  The very slightly dehydrated skin (from the alcohol) then seems to pull the detergent solution a little deeper into the skin as it hydrates so that a little more oil removal can take place, and it is soaked in that detergent solution at least overnight.  The day I will mount the skin I will rinse off the Grease Buster detergent solution and roll or squeegee the water and some residual oil out from under the scales, soak and wash the skin in straight acetone (doing this outside with proper ventilation and protection) for about twenty minutes, and then a quick five minute wash in a detergent (I like to use Simple Green because of the smell).  It is then ready to be toweled off on the flesh side of the skin and mounted.  I have used quite a few different methods, solutions, and sequences of solutions over the years and had from below average to poor success with very bright salmonids.  Some were bad enough so that a sprayed lacquer sealer coat was enough to draw out additional oil even after drying from 4-5 months.  With my current process, I always have skins that dry very clean with only trace amounts of oil at first and never had a lacquer sealer draw additional oil out of the skin since accepting the extra work of the additional solution process.  Of course it is overkill on most small trout and warmwater fish of all sizes, but it is what I have to do to confidently deal with the type of fish that I work with.

9.  I use both Lifetone and Polytranspar airbrush colors, but I have more or less settled on Lifetone greens.  My go-to green is usually the Dark Green, but I will either add some gray to make it a little chalkier, or some purple to deepen it a little more if I dont use it as-is.  If I am looking for a medium green as a base color for an olive back that I will be spraying brown over, I will use Medium Green and will sometimes add gray to make it a little chalkier, or red to deepen it slightly.  Those colors are the base layers on my fish repros (well, I paint skin mounts the same way), and then I will layer other colors over them such as blues, browns, and other greens.  For those other greens that I use more as a transparent spray rather than as a skin-base coloration, I prefer the Lifetone Transparent Dark, Medium, and Bright Greens.  Those types of green I use to tint my scale tipping and also to create varying mottling or other skin tone patterns.  I dont like to create a basic broad coloring of the same color because it is boring to the eye, but if I can create some varying color patterns within a certain color area using those different greens, then my eye has something to keep it busy and therefore it is more visually appealing to me.  There are some other greens that I may use from time to time just to experiment, but those listed are what I would think that I would like to have on hand all the time.

10.  When I started fish taxidermy full-time, I figured that it wasnt in my personality to tell someone what they need, so they would have to come to that conclusion on their own, and hopefully my work would be good enough so that they wanted a fish that I did.  I feel the same way today.  I am most happy working with someone who wants a fish done by me rather than just a mounted fish.  I have had prospective clients ask me a question such as this in regards to why they should leave their fish with me to do, and I prefer to tell them to just research what is available in the marketplace and then make their decision based upon what they like best and are most happy to live with on their wall, and at what cost (money and time) they are willing to sacrifice to get it there.  Luckily I get enough people that like my work, and I suppose some of that is based on reputation as well.  I cant win them with my long backlog or my much higher than average pricing (based on hands-on time), so I guess when they commit to work with me on a project they must REALLY like what I do, and that makes me happy.  Most of the prospective clients do not find my work to be worth my asking price or my backlog isnt acceptable to them and therefore go elsewhere, but I have no problem with that.  From my perspective, I couldnt be any more blessed or lucky to have clients that do like what I do!  ;)
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Stan N
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« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2006, 05:59:27 PM »

UFD I'm so glad you wrote this week my son Stanley really likes your advice and wants to know if you will write more offten. He askes me 10 times a day on sunday if UFD wrote yet. He wants to know what UFD stands for. To be fair there is a lot of good advice on here and my son thinks your the bomb. I don't know if you ever get together with other fish taxidermist but I think you Mr. Kotula and Mr,. Krane really give a lot back to the forums with out all the BS. Thank you from Stanley!

Debbie and Walter Nykorchuk
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Rick Krane
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« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2006, 07:01:48 PM »

Great answers this week! Good to see Mr. Campbell has a fan club! LOL! Sorry I couldn't help myself Dave! I really want to thank the folks so far who have shared this week! I'm always surprised and grateful to learn so much every week! You folks are the best! We all get better while having fun learing from each other I know I do and I hope you do as well!

Many Thanks!

Rick
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Mark V.
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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2006, 07:28:03 PM »

1. I usually mount them and let them sit for 1-3 days before I put a fan on them to avoid scale lift. After a few days I then blow them with a fan. I don't use direct heat just fan dry.

2. We set our heat between 65 and 70 degrees .We have it set to kick on in the morning prior to our arrival. If we are running the booth on cold days we will kick it up to 75 to maintain or try and maintain a constany temp.

3. I do my painting by memory. If I have pictures of original fish I will make it up as I go along. Get the basics down and tweek it to whatever the picture may show.

4. I do a little of both. If I don't have a photo I will use my own reference or go by memory in most cases.

5. 27-31 inch walleye pike, 12-17 inch black crappies and 17-23 inch Largemouth bass

6. We did most of what you are speaking of as we went. A. You can find credit card companies on the web or check with your local bank B. Our accountant is a family friend but you can locate CPA in the phone book. C. Lawyers are like sharks you can find them in most anywhere LOL no seriously Phone directory to specific lawyer your looking for. D. You can get quotes on the web or let your fingers do the walking. Shop around to find the best deal.

7. A taxidermy license, A sales tax and use permit and insurance to cover yourself in such cases as theft,liability and fires.

8. A few hours for degreasing. Usually I just guess from past experiences depending on type of fish I'm degreasing

9. I use a pearl green and a metallic green and shimmering green. I also use a dark green depending on species.I use greens in moderation as I don't want to overdo it. The heaviest is on pike. I mostly use the shimmering green on crappies and bluegills and some pearl green.

10. Usually word of mouth is what brings them into us. If I did a good job on another persons fish they may recommend us to others. Turnaround time might be another factor or price shopping in the phone book. I sometimes or rarely get fish from places I display them such as a local tackle shop which is odd but a few come from there.

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Ken D
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Location: Pensacola, Florida
Posts: 608



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« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2006, 07:47:18 PM »

Sorry so late!. We have been doing renovation to our facility and its been a very busy couple of days...More of the same over the next two weeks but it will be well worth the effort. Anyway, heres my take...Rick, thanks buddy!

1. How do you dry your fish? Fan, heat. Ect, how do you dry them up?
I use a fan to keep air circulating over my fish.

2. How low do you keep your shop temp in the cold months? What is the average temperature of your shop?
About 70 degree. I keep it comfortable throughout the year.

3. How do you get a paint schedule from reference pictures?
I try to isolate certain parts of the fish and focus on it trying to determine what it is that I am seeing. I also use colored film sometimes to help me identify different shades..I have a theory that it might be possible to use a stereoscope to help in identifying color in layers from flat reference photos. I have one and I am going to give it a gomaybe someone else has done this before.

4. Do you match colors to photos or do you paint with a basic general color schedule?
I study the fish and attempt to recreate those colors if the fish is unique but I think with most fish, particularly in production, there is a general schedule that most of us use whether it is written down or not. I know I do.

5. List 3 typical sizes of the most common fish you mount.  Bass, Trout, Salmon. Etc.
Bass 7-10 lbs,  Striper 10-20 lbs,  Crappie  1-3 lbs

6. In setting up a business how do you find?
A. A credit card company for your sales? I consult my bank first to check the interest rate and fees. I would also check with other established professionals in the industry first. I use a paypal merchants account now but my bank carried all of my business when I ran a commercial shop.
B. A CPA for your taxes? Check with the chamber of commerce.
C. A Lawyer for your business dealing? If you need a lawyer, try to look within a circle of associatesno doubt if you do any amount of business, you will have lawyers for customers.
D. A insurance agent to protect your assets of business? The NTA endorses a program and some state associations may as well. I had a specially written policy from the Hartford that was very good and reasonably priced.

7. What are 3 things you need before you open your doors in a taxidermy business?
An active and practical business plan, a means to cover your expenses until you get off the ground and all of the necessary infrastructure.

8. How long to you soak your fish in your pickle or your degreasing solution? How do you know when your fish is ready to come out?
Depends on the fishanywhere from 2  to 18 hours.

9. What colors of green do you use? What are your favorite greens and how do they make your fish look better? Maybe list the greens you use and tell us why?
Medium Bass Green and Dark Transparent Green

Bonus Question
10. Why would a customer one bring you a fish to mount? What makes you stand apart and a good choice for a customer?
Most folks know that I would go out of my way to be courteous and give them good customer service. That has probably always been a big part of itbut he probably also knows that I have respect for the time and effort that he put into it and that I will contribute the same.
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UFD
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Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 382


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« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2006, 10:29:13 PM »

UFD I'm so glad you wrote this week my son Stanley really likes your advice and wants to know if you will write more offten. He askes me 10 times a day on sunday if UFD wrote yet. He wants to know what UFD stands for. To be fair there is a lot of good advice on here and my son thinks your the bomb. I don't know if you ever get together with other fish taxidermist but I think you Mr. Kotula and Mr,. Krane really give a lot back to the forums with out all the BS. Thank you from Stanley!

Debbie and Walter Nykorchuk


Debbie and Walter, thank you very much for the kind words, and Im glad that Stanley occasionally may get something useful regarding fish taxidermy out of my ramblings.  (Hi Stanley!) :)  I know that I have missed at least two or three weeks in a row lately on the SMQs, and while I cant promise anything, Ill try to step it up a notch and meet the deadline a little more often.;)   I rarely make it to a show, but I always relish the opportunity to talk shop in person or otherwise with fellow fish taxidermy enthusiasts whenever the opportunity arises.

The UFD moniker is basically an acronym, with the U and D part standing for Uncle Dave.  The middle part is a little too colorful for general usage :-[ , but there is a story behind it that if taken in context is actually pretty funny and very harmless.  That nickname kind of stuck among some friends and was simplified to what it is now.
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Bell Harris
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Location: Kodiak Alaska
Posts: 23


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« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2007, 08:30:11 PM »

Hey Rick, off the topic, but do you have some good reference photos for Chinook that is not a great lakes.  Sea run Chinook.  The photos I have are either great lakes and being that I am on Kodiak Island that doesn't help me much.  Or they don't get to close and the fish has been dead..... You know.. Thanks for all your posting they are always very fun to read.
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