Sunday morning questions(SMQ's) part 38
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 16, 2019, 01:17:56 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
1794012 Posts in 224167 Topics by 49577 Members
Latest Member: SaraJean
* Home Help Search Calendar Login Register
Taxidermy.Net Forum  |  Taxidermy Discussion Categories  |  Fish Taxidermy  |  Topic: Sunday morning questions(SMQ's) part 38 « previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 Print
Author Topic: Sunday morning questions(SMQ's) part 38  (Read 7159 times)
Rick Krane
Platinum Member
*****
Location: Hinsdale NH
Posts: 2464


Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor


WWW Email
« on: November 11, 2006, 09:47:41 PM »

Good Sunday Morning (Saturday Night Technically)!

Happy Veterans Day!

Well here we are week 38. This week I have put the question in categories and you can answer all of them or just a few! In the 37 previous weeks there has been over a thousand answers and lots of great information shared with all of us!!!
Next week we will have all new questions maybe with a Twist?

I want to add that I have this past week enjoyed the company of a great new friend a d student LT. II. Nicholas Borowski of the USAF! LT Borowski recently came back from Iraq and is learning to fly for the Air force. In his R and R time back Nick spent a week here learning repro work and how to mount fish. Personally it was a great honor to have a veteran here with me for Veterans Day! It is the good folks who took the time to give of them self in so many ways to allow us to live in the greatest country in the world! We may never be perfect but we are a good opportunity for a better life! God Bless the men and women who have and do serve our great land!
I thank you and WASCO for letting me share in my passion "FISH! As long as you keep answering the questions, I will keep writing them.

So with out further ado! Lets Get the morning stared to a new week with some fish taxidermy talk! The good people at WASCO give us the free opportunity here to share information so we can be better-informed taxidermist! So in the spirit of WASCO generosity we share freely with each other!

General
1.)In learning fish taxidermy how much of the "old) methods are still worth learning?

2.) What is the most valuable learning tool in your taxidermy career? A book a tape, the Internet, a magazine what was it that made the difference?


Repro
3.) Would you rather do reproduction work or a traditional fish mount for your customers and why?

4.) Does it take longer to complete a reproduction for your client as apposed to traditional Fish taxidermy?

Paint
5.) What is a paint schedule and how do you come up with one?

6.) How do you know when to stop painting a fish? When does your pride in your work become a business decision or does it?

Business
7.) What is your policy for as a standard fish deposit? What percentage do you ask for, what if they don't have the full deposit, etc?

8.) What steps do you take to protect your self with a customer's perception of how the fish was when they brought it to you? In other words, you un-thaw a frozen fish that was dropped off and you find scares and torn fins after the customer told you it was a perfect fish when it was dropped off? What do you do in the situation?

Basic Taxidermy
9.) Fins when is a fish to big to use real fins?
a.) How do you address the carding of your fins on a larger fish?
b.) What do you card them with?
c.) What do you coat them with?
d.) Do you trim them if so how do you perform this task?

10.) How do you preserve your Fish skin?

Fun Bonus Question

11. Who were or are some of your greatest influences in taxidermy and why?
Give it a shot![/color]
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


Logged

Join us for Anglers Artistry's Big Announcement! Click the Banner for more information:

 
http://anglersartistry.com
Please like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Rick.Krane.Anglers.Artistry
jwj4856
Platinum Member
*****
Location: Shreveport, LA
Posts: 1247



Email
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2006, 11:46:16 PM »

1) I think most of the old methods are still worth learning, they give you most of the basics to learn the newer techniques.

2)My most valuable learning tools were the tapes that I got to give myself an idea of what was involved and show me some basics then moving on to observing other taxidermists and learning from them.

3)Repro or traditional fish does not really matter to me, it is what the customer wants that counts.

4)Traditional skin mounts take me longer to do than repros.

5)To me a paint schedule is a general idea of what a particular species of fish looks like, each individual fish should be painted as it was alive and not completely by schedules.

6)I quit painting on a fish when I get it as near to the coloration that the live fish had. My pride in my work is not a business decision as much as a personal decision to do the best I can and then learn more to do better next time.

7)My policy is 50% deposit and if the customer does not have the total deposit I will take his fish and put in freezer but will not begin work on it till I get full deposit, after full deposit it is then put in the next work order number available.

8)If fish i frozen I usually ask customer about the condition of fish and note it on contract, if fish is different when thawed I will contact customer and see if he can come over and look at it and we discuss it then or if not will take several pictures to show everything and continue with work.

9)So far I have been able to use real fins on everything I have mounted as long as fins were in good condition.
   a) I card my fins with wax coated cardboard on show side and plastic screening on back side.
   b) All my fish fins are carded as stated in "a" above.
   c) Usually coat fins with tuff fin after making any necessary repairs.
   d) I do not trim fins unless absolutely necessary, I try to leave them natural.

10)I preserve fish skins in a 50/50 mixture of denatured alcohol and water.

11)A couple of my biggest influences in taxidermy are a taxidermist in
Greenwood LA named Noell Whatley, he has helped me at any time I needed and taught me so much, and another is Ron Kelly, I think it was looking at some of his fish that made me want to get into doing fish.
Logged

Double J Taxidermy
Shreveport, LA
Ken D
Gold Member
****
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Posts: 608



WWW Email
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2006, 11:47:17 PM »

Thanks for the SMQ Rick! Headed out to work on the shop some more tommorrow...alot of renovation going on...glad I can knock this out tonight! Have a great week everybody!

General
1.)In learning fish taxidermy how much of the old methods are still worth learning?
Im have never been exactly sure where the line is from old to new methods. Im a product of the late eighties and early nineties and it doenst matter how long you have been doing it, there will always be someone who has been doing it longer and with more primitive methods. But I strive to learn it so that I can explain it to my own students. Its an important part of the evolution of taxidermy and everything we do is rooted to methods that we may consider outdated.
2.) What is the most valuable learning tool in your taxidermy career? A book a tape, the Internet, a magazine what was it that made the difference?
My interaction with other taxidermists. That is something that didnt happen years ago and to some degree doesnt happen today. Thank the Lord for the NTA and other taxidermists associations that have helped to make many of us friends and collegues and not bitter rivals.

Repro
3.) Would you rather do reproduction work or a traditional fish mount for your customers and why?
I would PREFER to do exclusively repro work, but I know that is probably not going to happen.

4.) Does it take longer to complete a reproduction for your client as apposed to traditional Fish taxidermy?
It depends on whether it is a customer repro or a blank. Custome, yesblankno.

Paint
5.) What is a paint schedule and how do you come up with one?
A paint schedule is essentially a step by step process that as a rule we use in the application of paint to our mount. They can be a cookie cutter list of colors and application instructions that sometimes are helpful but can also steer us away from what is correct in an individual fish (or other specimen).  They are good to a point for beginners but too many rely on the schedule more that the reference. You generally come up with basic paint schedules with experience and they are probably mainstay in commercial production .

6.) How do you know when to stop painting a fish? When does your pride in your work become a business decision or does it?
Good question on when to stop paintingI think experience teaches you thisand even then, many times, we just cant leave well enough alone.
And I think that pride in your work IS a good business decision!

Business
7.) What is your policy for as a standard fish deposit? What percentage do you ask for, what if they don't have the full deposit, etc?
Deposit of 50% must be received within 30 days of signing the contract or retrieve it. If any caping, fleshing , etc have been completed to facilitate storage or preparation, customer pays $30 per hour rate or forfeits his trophy. Customer will have 60 days to pay balance and pick up the completed mount.


8.) What steps do you take to protect your self with a customer's perception of how the fish was when they brought it to you? In other words, you un-thaw a frozen fish that was dropped off and you find scares and torn fins after the customer told you it was a perfect fish when it was dropped off? What do you do in the situation?
I explain potential issues when they drop it off.

Basic Taxidermy
9.) Fins when is a fish to big to use real fins?
a.) How do you address the carding of your fins on a larger fish?
b.) What do you card them with?
c.) What do you coat them with?
d.) Do you trim them if so how do you perform this task?

I can answer al of these questions together. I dont treat larger fins any different. If they are in good shape they can be carded with plastic mesh. I coat with Tuffin, Sobo or Mod Podge and coffee filtersjust the same as smaller ones. If they need to be molded and cast, I do so.

10.) How do you preserve your Fish skin?
Water, Borax, Bacteriastat and Denatured alcohol.

Fun Bonus Question

11. Who were or are some of your greatest influences in taxidermy and why?
Give it a shot!

I think Tom Sexton was a big influencethrough my friendship with his brother, he kind of unknowingly sparked my interest. Don Stevens and Jerry Mosley  were big influences because they are two of the most encouraging judges I ever had. Scott Ringenoldus and the Garlands really made me feel like I was in the right profession  when I first got involved with taxidermy competition. But the number one influence on me was a man named Joe Rogers from Dothan Alabama. At my first show, I took 5 mounts. Other than in magazines, I had never seen other serious taxidermists competition work. I really didnt know how high the standard was. When I got to the parking lot and saw some of the stuff coming in, I was ashamed of my own work and only entered one piece. My wife met Joes wife during one of the seminars and introduced me to him. He had been in it for probably 30 years or more at the time. He insisted on seeing my other pieces (in the car) and while his assessment was honest and to the point, the encouragement that this man gave me has ultimately defined my career as a taxidermist and an instructor. I scored a 60 on my one mammal entry at that showbut with Joes encouragement and sense of direction, I scored an 89 on my second attempt at another state show 2 months later and the following show in yet another state 3 weeks later I won a BOC and a special award. I think if it had not been for Joe Rogers, I might have been discouraged to the point of letting go of taxidermy!
Sorry so long but this was a great chance to plug some folks that have been very important to my growth. All too often we get wrapped around our own accomplishments and forget that there was always someone there before us who probably deserves much of the credit for our success.
Logged

Frank E. Kotula
Platinum Member
*****
Location: wilkes barre
Posts: 1968


master, judge, instructor


WWW Email
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2006, 06:35:06 AM »

1.)In learning fish taxidermy how much of the "old) methods are still worth learning?
For me, I'm sorry there all out the door. The methods that was used then were poor and created some very poor work. Yes it may have been the best back then but now with the methods we have today, we can produce a fish that should last more than one's life time.

2.) What is the most valuable learning tool in your taxidermy career? A book a tape, the Internet, a magazine what was it that made the difference?
It started out as a book, magazines and then went into video's.  Personally there is none, there all valuable.

Repro
3.) Would you rather do reproduction work or a traditional fish mount for your customers and why?
No choice or opinion here, I like them all.

4.) Does it take longer to complete a reproduction for your client as apposed to traditional Fish taxidermy?
Yes the only reason is my set up time but if I really break it down it's probally a little quicker.

Paint
5.) What is a paint schedule and how do you come up with one? That's in Breakthrough and it's done and written by a great man ( Richard Krane )

6.) How do you know when to stop painting a fish? Personally I don't. That's my main problem.

When does your pride in your work become a business decision or does it?  Pride is always there!

Business
7.) What is your policy for as a standard fish deposit? Most client I know so deposits can range from $100 down to half.
What percentage do you ask for, what if they don't have the full deposit, etc? I want atleast 25% down.

8.) What steps do you take to protect your self with a customer's perception of how the fish was when they brought it to you? In other words, you un-thaw a frozen fish that was dropped off and you find scares and torn fins after the customer told you it was a perfect fish when it was dropped off? What do you do in the situation?
From myself I will call them and explain what might be wrong with the fish. I expalin to them what they may be calling perfect to what my acpectations are of a perfect fish is. I also tell them they the fish will have perfect fins for I have many molds of fins and will be more than happy to acomadate the client. As far as scales go, well I paint them in so that doesn't matter one bit to me.

Basic Taxidermy
9.) Fins when is a fish to big to use real fins?
Don't know or can say I use fake 99% of the time. The onther 1% is because I couldn't talk the client into fake ones.

a.) How do you address the carding of your fins on a larger fish?
I don't for my fins are casted.

b.) What do you card them with?
When I did this it was with screen and plastic mesh

c.) What do you coat them with?
I used sobo glue

d.) Do you trim them if so how do you perform this task?
As long as I din't use a backing I didn't trim them, Now when I did use them I would lay silk backing down and wet it with the glue and then take a lighter and burn the edges of the silk span. It made a great looking edge.

10.) How do you preserve your Fish skin? Borax, zinc. kemal 4, bacteriacide, water.

Fun Bonus Question

11. Who were or are some of your greatest influences in taxidermy and why?
Richard Krane, first judge and helped explain a lot to me.
Chuck Henery my teacher at school. He shouold me how to make reproductions
Kent Stryker fin making
Gary Bruch some carving and powders.

Give it a shot![/color]
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.

Logged

Frank E. Kotula
http://www.FranksWildlifeStudio.com
one on one classes 570-819-0391
All phases of taxidermy
Rick Krane
Platinum Member
*****
Location: Hinsdale NH
Posts: 2464


Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor


WWW Email
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2006, 09:39:52 AM »

From Our Very Good freind In MD! A great Fish man and repro man for sure!

General
1.)In learning fish taxidermy how much of the "old) methods are still worth learning?
EVERY ONE OF THEM
2.) What is the most valuable learning tool in your taxidermy career? A book a tape, the Internet, a magazine what was it that made the difference?
MY MISTAKES, AND HOW TO CORRECT THEM

Repro
3.) Would you rather do reproduction work or a traditional fish mount for your customers and why?
REPRODUCTION.......SALT WATER SPECIES CALLS FOR IT.....A MOLD IS EQUITY, AND CAN PRODUCE MANY CASTS OF THE MOLDED FISH

4.) Does it take longer to complete a reproduction for your client as apposed to traditional Fish taxidermy?
REPO'S, CAN BE FINISHED AS FAST AS YOU WANT TO WORK....NO LONG TERM DRYING ETC.........2-3 REPO'S COULD POSSIBLY BE DONE BY THE TIME A SKIN MOUNT WAS DRIED AND FINISHED

Paint
5.) What is a paint schedule and how do you come up with one.
UNDERSTANDING HOW COLOR INTERACTS AND HOW TO REPRODUCE THAT IN PAINT, AND OTHER MEDIUMS IS KEY.........I HAVE YET TO EVER HAVE A PAINT SCHEDULE NOT CHANGE EACH TIME I USE IT.......A PAINT SCHEDULE DOES NOT WORK FOR ME......

6.) How do you know when to stop painting a fish? When does your pride in your work become a business decision or does it?
I HAVE TO STOP.........MANY TIMES THROUGHOUT THE PAINT JOB......AND TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT THE APPLICATION OF COLOR, AND ADJUST WITH A CLEAN EYE........"PRIDE IN YOU WORK" IS PRIDE IN YOURSELF.....NO BRAINER

Business
7.) What is your policy for as a standard fish deposit? What percentage do you ask for, what if they don't have the full deposit, etc?
50%.......DEPENDS ON THE SPECIES THEY HAVE..........A MOLD IS A WONDERFUL THING!!!!!!

8.) What steps do you take to protect your self with a customer's perception of how the fish was when they brought it to you? In other words, you un-thaw a frozen fish that was dropped off and you find scares and torn fins after the customer told you it was a perfect fish when it was dropped off? What do you do in the situation?
MOLDING DOESN'T LIE........IT IS WHAT IT IS.......PROPER DOCUMENTATION AT LOG IN SURE HELPS

Basic Taxidermy
9.) Fins when is a fish to big to use real fins?  ALL THE TIME
a.) How do you address the carding of your fins on a larger fish? FIBERGLASS
b.) What do you card them with? FIBERGLASS
c.) What do you coat them with? GEL COAT
d.) Do you trim them if so how do you perform this task? DREMAL TOOL

10.) How do you preserve your Fish skin? FIBERGLASS

Fun Bonus Question

11. Who were or are some of your greatest influences in taxidermy and why?
NORTHWESTERN SCHOOL OF TAXIDERMY.........IT WAS CHEAP, AND I DIDN'T PAY FOR IT
Logged

Join us for Anglers Artistry's Big Announcement! Click the Banner for more information:

 
http://anglersartistry.com
Please like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Rick.Krane.Anglers.Artistry
Rick Krane
Platinum Member
*****
Location: Hinsdale NH
Posts: 2464


Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor


WWW Email
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2006, 09:42:28 AM »

From Our Good Freind and Great taxidermist! James!!
 
1) I think most of the old methods are still worth learning, they give you most of the basics to learn the newer techniques.

2)My most valuable learning tools were the tapes that I got to give myself an idea of what was involved and show me some basics then moving on to observing other taxidermists and learning from them.

3)Repro or traditional fish does not really matter to me, it is what the customer wants that counts.

4)Traditional skin mounts take me longer to do than repros.

5)To me a paint schedule is a general idea of what a particular species of fish looks like, each individual fish should be painted as it was alive and not completely by schedules.

6)I quit painting on a fish when I get it as near to the coloration that the live fish had. My pride in my work is not a business decision as much as a personal decision to do the best I can and then learn more to do better next time.

7)My policy is 50% deposit and if the customer does not have the total deposit I will take his fish and put in freezer but will not begin work on it till I get full deposit, after full deposit it is then put in the next work order number available.

8)If fish i frozen I usually ask customer about the condition of fish and note it on contract, if fish is different when thawed I will contact customer and see if he can come over and look at it and we discuss it then or if not will take several pictures to show everything and continue with work.

9)So far I have been able to use real fins on everything I have mounted as long as fins were in good condition.
   a) I card my fins with wax coated cardboard on show side and plastic screening on back side.
   b) All my fish fins are carded as stated in "a" above.
   c) Usually coat fins with tuff fin after making any necessary repairs.
   d) I do not trim fins unless absolutely necessary, I try to leave them natural.

10)I preserve fish skins in a 50/50 mixture of denatured alcohol and water.

11)A couple of my biggest influences in taxidermy are a taxidermist in
Greenwood LA named Noell Whatley, he has helped me at any time I needed and taught me so much, and another is Ron Kelly, I think it was looking at some of his fish that made me want to get into doing fish.
Logged

Join us for Anglers Artistry's Big Announcement! Click the Banner for more information:

 
http://anglersartistry.com
Please like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Rick.Krane.Anglers.Artistry
AnglingArtisan
Gold Member
****
Location: Western NY
Posts: 856



WWW Email
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2006, 04:32:30 PM »

General
1.)In learning fish taxidermy how much of the "old) methods are still worth learning?
Hmmm "old" methods...I guess personally I consider that skin mounting.
I think it is totally beneficial. Anything you can do where you are observing anatomy and getting "hands on" with the fish is a good thing. Also making plaster molds I would consider an "old" technique that is definately worth learning.


2.) What is the most valuable learning tool in your taxidermy career? A book a tape, the Internet, a magazine what was it that made the difference? A decent digital camera. Having good reference photos of freshly caught fish is extremely valuable.

Repro
3.) Would you rather do reproduction work or a traditional fish mount for your customers and why?
Reproduction. I think that a custom molded reproduction(properly done) is the most honest representation of the customer's trophy. The cast IS what the fish WAS.

4.) Does it take longer to complete a reproduction for your client as apposed to traditional Fish taxidermy?
No. Even when I make a custom mold from the customer's fish it takes less time than it would for me to skin mount .
Paint
5.) What is a paint schedule and how do you come up with one?
Step by step instructions to restore color to a mounted or reproduction fish.
I have never come up with any. I treat each fish individually according to reference. It keeps things interesting.


6.) How do you know when to stop painting a fish? When does your pride in your work become a business decision or does it?
I stop when it looks as much as possible like the reference that I'm using. I've got the layering pretty much figured out so that it translates to different species.

Business
7.) What is your policy for as a standard fish deposit? What percentage do you ask for, what if they don't have the full deposit, etc?
50% Down
50% upon completion


8.) What steps do you take to protect your self with a customer's perception of how the fish was when they brought it to you? In other words, you un-thaw a frozen fish that was dropped off and you find scares and torn fins after the customer told you it was a perfect fish when it was dropped off? What do you do in the situation?
I let them know about it right away.
I offer to do the best I can with it and it is usually good enough.
When custon molding, it is fairly easy to amend split fins and fill in scars or slashes on the skin.


Basic Taxidermy
9.) Fins when is a fish to big to use real fins?
Always?  :P
a.) How do you address the carding of your fins on a larger fish?
If I was doing a skin mount and using real fins(in a make-believe world ::)) I suppose I would cut all the fins off and card them seperately...reattach when dried and try to make the edges and roots look fleshy with magic sculp.
b.) What do you card them with?
c.) What do you coat them with?
d.) Do you trim them if so how do you perform this task?

10.) How do you preserve your Fish skin?
Used to use Tru-tan.
 

Fun Bonus Question

11. Who were or are some of your greatest influences in taxidermy and why?
My Dad...was a full service taxidermist for a few years in the 70's(before I was born) and as a hobbiest since I can remember. He is a good critic, so he keeps me on my toes. He has been very instrumental in helping me get where I am. Having someone to brainstorm, experiment and "talk shop" with is truly a blessing.
One thing that put me on a different track was seeing a reproduction spawning male Brown Trout that was completed by Capt. Bryan Russell..hanging in a local tackle store. It was back when I was doing skin mounts w/ real head & fins. This fish blew my mind and I was like..."I have to know how that was done!" It was extremely inspirational.
The Taxidemy.net too has been priceless :D
Logged
UFD
Silver Member
***
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 382


WWW Email
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2006, 08:53:02 PM »

1.  I think that when learning fish taxidermy, one should be aware of many of the methods that got us to where we are today so that we get a good understanding of what the limits are of those various methods.  I dont necessarily think that we need to be proficient at each, but it would be beneficial to us to at least know at what point each one will dead-end at in regards to realism.  Each method or technique has its strong points and weak points.  With some methods, the strong will outweigh the weak points and vice versa, and Id like to think that the modern methods are going to fall into the former category.  By being knowledgeable about some of the old techniques, one may be able to draw upon that knowledge and use some of the stronger aspects of those methods to contribute to taking the modern methods to an even closer point to realism before dead-ending.  It should be noted, however, that all of the study of the techniques and methods of fish taxidermy is rather pointless without a benchmark, and in my opinion the benchmark of what all methods should be founded upon is the fish itself in conjunction with the effects of its environment.  (And that is why I dont blindly follow along in the belief that a mold of a dead fish, even if it has only been expired a very short while, is the holy grail of fish taxidermy)

2.) By starting out in fish taxidermy in 1979 and being just a kid without too many resources, it was primarily taxidermy magazines and books that helped me learn various methods and techniques, and to this day I have only watched but one or two tapes and attended about a handful of fish taxidermy seminars.  By far the most valuable learning tool that has helped my fish taxidermy immensely was the few years I spent at the University of Washington School of Fisheries.  I had been playing with fish taxidermy for about six years before I got there, and it was during that time at the UW that I began realizing that methods and techniques were not the most important concept to grasp in the grand scheme of fish taxidermy.

3.) There are several factors regarding whether Id like to do a repro or a skin mount for a client.  In a perfect world with an excellent repro available that would match a clients fish within reason that they released, Id rather give them an existing reproduction simply because of the longevity of the mount and I can give it to them at a lower price than some of my more custom pieces.  However, in my opinion there isnt always an excellent repro available, and sometimes clients kill a magnificent specimen and most likely arent going to make use of it otherwise (eat), so in that case Id rather give them a truly custom piece and use their fish to do it so that it wasnt wasted.  I have no qualms about doing either a skin mount or a reproduction, but in the end I know that they would be better off with a custom replica if they want to hand the fish down from generation to generation.

4.) It takes me roughly 25% more hands-on labor time to do a skin mount than a reproduction, IF an existing replica is available that I dont have to make extensive modification to.  I believe this was also one of last weeks questions, so I wont go into further explanation other than to say that my custom replica process takes me longer to complete than either a skin mount or making use of an existing cast.

5.) A paint schedule is basically a methodical, detailed arrangement of when and where color is applied to a fish.  I have written very few of mine out since they change over time.  When coming up with a schedule from looking at a fish or a picture, my plan is to arrange it so that the first colors applied will be the opaque base colors of the skin followed by a layer of individual scale coloration, whether metallic or an actual color.  After that comes more colors sprayed in thin or transparent layers.  That is a very basic plan of attack, and if I tried to write down some of the steps I have been going through over the last several years, it would turn out to be a colossal waste of paper and make me question my own sanity.

6.) Being in business, the biggest factor that contributes to when I stop painting on a fish would be how much time I have allotted in regards to what I have charged, although pride does rear its head many times and causes me to go over my allotted time and give the client some free labor.  When I start going over more and more often on every fish, I come to the realization that my prices need to be raised on future contracted projects to cover the additional time that I will be spending on them to satisfy my desire to create a more quality fish than what I was able to previously.

7.) I require a 25% deposit, an additional 50% midterm, and then the remaining 25% balance.  I covered my reasoning for this practice in-depth on a question from Week 37, so I will defer to that previous information.

8.) I see my business method as one of providing a custom service within certain parameters, so if there are any questions that I have regarding the condition of what a fish is in relation to what my client has said or as to what the mount will be like, I consult them if necessary.  In fact, I let them know when the major processes have started that I may contact them from time to time to get their feedback on certain things.  Most of the time the techniques that I use will take into consideration any repairs that need to be made, so extra charges are not always the rule for dealing with imperfections.  Sometimes it is a hassle to get in touch with them and wait for their reply, but it is not like I dont have anything else that I can work on in the meantime, and I believe that type of feedback is part of my brand of customer service.

9.) For coldwater fish I have done fish as large as 80 lbs using the real fins, even though that isnt my best choice.  But for that matter, the benefits of using cast fins can be seen in smaller fish as well, which is primarily the shrinkage in both thickness and surface area.  My concern is also for oil content of the fin, and for that situation size doesnt have much relevance.  I would say that both the species and size has to be taken into consideration. For example, many saltwater bottom fish have very fleshy rays and it is best to cast them to replicate the fleshiness, regardless of size.

    If I will use the real fins on a fish, I leave them attached to the skin the vast majority of the time but flesh out the fin bases very well.  Carding them is done immediately after the skin is on the body, and I use clear acetate for the front side and wire or stiff plastic screen for the rear side.  Large paper clips are used to hold things together, and some very large ones to help stiffen leading edges of the fins and also for the tail.  I dont worry about keeping the fins board straight because real fins have ripples and motion underwater.  When they are dry I use a product called Lustre-Flex (currently available from Dan Rinehart) to coat them.  It is the best product that I have used to not only seal a fin that is potentially oily, but to actually bond to the fin rather than just dry over the top of it.  I dont personally like the extremely ragged or fuzzy edged fins, so I will do any repairs to splits if they will not be left for character in the mount, and then trim very carefully and as little as possible with a very small pair of scissors.  The fin bases are rebuilt and then another coat of Lustre-Flex is brushed over to blend everything together.

10.) I dont think that what I do is a preservation process as much as it is a degreasing process for fish skins.  I answered this in another week recently, but to quickly recap, I use multiple soaks consisting of:  Detergent, water and borax; two separate baths of alcohol and water; another water, detergent, and borax soak; rinse in acetone and then wash in detergent before mounting is my preferred sequence.  Again, it is overkill on most fish but is the process that I have found to work very well on oily coldwater fish that were caught in saltwater.

11. My very first influence in fish taxidermy that helped fuel the fire (and throughout some of the early days) was the guy that mounted my first trophy fish, Arlan Evans.  The greatest influence in fish taxidermy from literature that I had early on was reading Jim Halls writings in magazines.  But the work that most inspired me when I used to go to local sportsmens shows in those days were replica fish done by Ron Pittard.  Later on I was very inspired by both the logical and artistic approach of the works and writings of Tom Sexton and another guy that is not very well known but very talented, Tom Seward.  There have been many pieces of fish taxidermy work done that I have seen in person and/or magazines by many different taxidermists that have given me great inspiration to stimulate creativity and wonder, so much so that I could write an entire dissertation on all of them together.  I will always like looking at the work of others because from those fish mounts I can see unique approaches and also be able to pick out things that the artist finds important enough in what they see in a real fish to include in their fish rendering.  Fish BS sessions with Rick Krane over the last year have helped me redefine what are some of the most important aspects to fish taxidermy, and so that has been most valuable!  And last but certainly not least, lately I would have to say that my greatest influence with painting has been someone whose talent at painting a fish makes my work look like I did it with crayons..
« Last Edit: November 13, 2006, 12:44:17 AM by UFD » Logged
Mark V.
Silver Member
***
Location: White Bear Lake, MN.
Posts: 440


Chinook Salmon replica


Email
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2006, 09:52:21 PM »

1. I think many of the old methods still apply so to speak. As far as I remember we have always done fish taxidermy basically the same. It is still traced,skinned,carved, and painted. The newer stuff involved in fish taxidermy has to do with casted parts such as heads and fins but the basics are still relevant.

2. I think all of the above are important in learning fish taxidermy or any taxidermy. There wasn't alot available when I started in 1979 at age 9. My dad is the primary reason I got interested as he did taxidermy before I was born. Videos,DVDs magazines and seminars all play a role in learning. I have learned numerous techniques from these forums so I can say in recent years the internet has been my way of learning.

3. I would rather do a skin mount over a reproduction as it is my own creation rather than one created by another. I control all aspects of my skin mounts rather than have something someone has done most of the work. Yes reproductions last longer and such but their still not my creation.

4. I would say I have about the same amount of time in a reproduction as I do in a skin mount as I do all my own finish work on seams and such. I feel I can gain a little extra profit by doing it myself. The time involved in each is about equal.

5. A paint schedule is a basic paint by numbers to give you and Idea of how to paint a certain species of fish. If I was to make one I would explain step by step which colors to apply in which order but I haven't looked at one in a long time. I used to have the Breakthrough fish painting encyclopedia and I own Ron Reynolds fish panting manual both are great publications.

6. I was taught that it is a buisness first and you have to know when to quit. Its my family first and when it comes to customers basic paintjobs are the rule on most species. I don't do alot of scale tipping unless needed. I think thats where alot of taxidermists fail is the time they take to paint. You can get lost in it and I sometimes still do but if the bills are mounding the cure will be to speed it up. A couple of the best taxidermists I knew fell into the pride part and were terrible buisnessmen and eventually let the pride get the best of them and closed up shop.

7. 50% deposit on all mounts and balance paid upon completion. No work is started and will go to the bottom of the pile if the 50% deposit is not made within 60 days.

8. I immediately call the customer to inform them if changes need to be made because of scars. If they still insist on having the bad side out I go forth in mounting it. If thjey have disbelief in what Im saying I will tell them to drop by and take a look for themselves. Usually they wouldn't have the time so I continue with the mount.

9. I would use real fins on most species except trout,salmon and saltwater.I use cardboard and wires for all species of fish. same as above waxed cardboard and wires in the back to hold them up while drying.I coat them with flexible fin finish or fin backing cream. I do trim them with a fiscars scissors.

10. Water and borax and kemal-4 thats it. I have never had a problem. I use alcohol for degreasing skins like trout and salmon.

11. My first would be my father who taught me the basics of all taxidermy. Next would be a man from West St. Paul,MN. By the Name of Ed Mitchell who did some of the finest reproduction fish around back in the early 70's. Another would be Victor Birontas from Nisswa,MN. who I still think painted some of the finest reproduction fish I have seen to this day. I have always tried to copy some of his but even his predecessors pale in comparison. Another would be a fella named Mike Vierling who was probably the best fish taxidermist I ever knew personally. He was the one who taught me the sure fire way to skin a crappie and not lose a scale. Its something that has been valueable for me in my fish mounting.
Logged
Jeff Lumsden
Platinum Member
*****
Location: Everett, WA USA
Posts: 1744



Email
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2006, 10:41:16 AM »

Dave, If your renderings look as if painted with crayons..., I must see some of this persons work! I agree viewing quality work is more educational than most seminars to us visual learners. If you're not comfortable passing on their info send me a personal message.

Jeff
Logged
John C
Platinum Member
*****
Location: Between South Africa and America.
Posts: 16151



Email
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2006, 11:28:00 AM »

1.)In learning fish taxidermy how much of the "old) methods are still worth learning?

I have ot used fish filler in 20 years. I feel carving the body is simply the best and produces the highest quality fish mount.

2.) What is the most valuable learning tool in your taxidermy career? A book a tape, the Internet, a magazine what was it that made the difference?

Competetions. You learn a lot by attending the seminars and certianly can get  your eyes opened to reference by competeting.

Repro
3.) Would you rather do reproduction work or a traditional fish mount for your customers and why?

Both, each has its points.

4.) Does it take longer to complete a reproduction for your client as apposed to traditional Fish taxidermy?
 Real fish takes a bit longer, but paints out quicker.

Paint
5.) What is a paint schedule and how do you come up with one?

I have never written a paint schedule as such. I look at many photographs of live fish and make some notes, make notes when I catch fish etc. but never write a paint shcedule.

6.) How do you know when to stop painting a fish? When does your pride in your work become a business decision or does it?

When Its done to my satisfaction. If I am happy the client will be happy.

Business
7.) What is your policy for as a standard fish deposit? What percentage do you ask for, what if they don't have the full deposit, etc?

50% deposit, and the 50% balance in cash at delivery.

8.) What steps do you take to protect your self with a customer's perception of how the fish was when they brought it to you? In other words, you 
(RICK I cant believe you said this)

un-thaw

 a frozen fish that was dropped off and you find scares and torn fins after the customer told you it was a perfect fish when it was dropped off? What do you do in the situation?
Repair them and go on its already figured in my price

Basic Taxidermy
9.) Fins when is a fish to big to use real fins?
When they are so fleshy that you cannot rebuild the flesh with just a couple coats of  emulsion.

a.) How do you address the carding of your fins on a larger fish?
b.) What do you card them with?
c.) What do you coat them with?
d.) Do you trim them if so how do you perform this task?

Spray furniture polish on poster board and spread. screen leaves marks, scissors.

10.) How do you preserve your Fish skin?

Soak in 100% denatured alcohol, then relax in a day or two in dawn and water.

Fun Bonus Question

11. Who were or are some of your greatest influences in taxidermy and why?
Jonas Studios in Denver and the poor quality I saw being done by other taxis.

Today I  really like looking at Brian Harness work,  to me its still amazing. UFD's fish, I stopped in his studio several years ago and they were simply great. Riches fish are very nice as are Rick Kranes. I am laways still learning.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2006, 04:48:35 PM by Ken Edwards » Logged

20% Share holder Advanced Marine Performance, LLC, Hydro hull design engineer Vexus Boats.
UFD
Silver Member
***
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 382


WWW Email
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2006, 04:06:53 PM »

Jeff, hopefully someday we'll all get to see some of his work.....  :o

And speaking of influences in fish taxidermy, Jeff, I have to say that your airbrushing artistic ability has been blowing my mind since the first fish of yours that I ever saw.  Someday when I grow up I want to be able to use an airbrush like you do!   ;)


John C, make sure to stop by if you ever find yourself in my area again!
Logged
Jeff Lumsden
Platinum Member
*****
Location: Everett, WA USA
Posts: 1744



Email
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2006, 04:41:18 PM »

Sorry for my indulgences Rick in your great thread.

Thanks for your kind words Dave, and kudos to your airbrushing abilities! There are a lot of talented  people in this small fish world.
Logged
[email protected]
Gold Member
****
Location: GA
Posts: 994



Email
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2006, 06:00:24 PM »

   Sunday morning questions(SMQ's) part 38
on: November 11, 2006, 09:47:41 PM    

General
1.)In learning fish taxidermy how much of the "old) methods are still worth learning?

Old methods are relative.  Things I learned in the 60s that are still worth learning are making  personal fish drawings with colors, markings, dimensions, etc.  I'm lazy too often and take a photo and sometimes later realize that the camera does not capture what the eyes can actually see.  Old principles of completely skinning the fish are still necessary for good work.  The half-cast method is just a variation on the old method of 'stuffing' a fish with a filler of some type.

2.) What is the most valuable learning tool in your taxidermy career? A book a tape, the Internet, a magazine what was it that made the difference?  "Most valuable" changed with history.  Attending my first NTA convention at Bucknell University in Pa back in the early 70s (the second NTA convention I think).  Seeing live demonstrations and talking one-on-one with other taxidermists was unbelievable since the only 'training' I had prior to that was 'attending' the Northwest School of Taxidermy and reading books by Pray , Moyer and Herters.  While at the convention, my name was chosen to receive a year's subscription to American Taxidermy magazine, wow, having 'up-to-date' info delivered to my door throughout the year surely had to be the 'most valuable' learning tool up to that time.  Videos came along and once again, this had to be the 'most valuable' tool available to learn taxidermy, you could watch it as often as needed.  TaxidermyNet/Forums has turned out to be truly 'THE MOST VALUABLE" learning tool for me I would conclude.

Repro
3.) Would you rather do reproduction work or a traditional fish mount for your customers and why?  At the present time I find greater pleasure in creating fish reproductions.  Initially there was a challenge to 'master' this area (not that I have attained that yet!) Over the last 20 years, 99.9% of the reproductions I have finished started out with me making the molds.  For most of that time taxidermy was a 'side' area of interest and time constraints often made it easier to work on reproductions (other than making the actual mold) for short periods of time over a long period of time.  I personally think that reproductions are a better representation of the actual fish also.

4.) Does it take longer to complete a reproduction for your client as apposed to traditional Fish taxidermy?  I must admit that it seems that way at times, especially considering mold making activities.  In theory, there will be future times where I can use existing molds.

Paint
5.) What is a paint schedule and how do you come up with one?  A schedule is a plan to arrive at a desired end.  Examine the appearance of the finished end product and mentally plan backwards to bring that about. 

6.) How do you know when to stop painting a fish? Ideally you will stop painting when the desired end has been achieved.  Sometimes, falling short of that, I stop when I contemplate that doing anything additional may diminish the OK results that currently exist.  On occasion there is consideration of time that has been expended.........reality dictates that there must be a end to the work time.  When does your pride in your work become a business decision or does it? I'm not sure what you're asking but pride is definitely a business decision for me.  I'm compelled to do the best that I can, not just because it's good for business but it's the right thing to do.  When I feel or realize that I spend too much time (business wise) completing work as a general practice, then that's definitely to justify expending that amount of time by increasing my rates

Business
7.) What is your policy for as a standard fish deposit?  Depending on total cost, 1/3 to 1/2 up-front. (In most cases, $50 deposit covers it)  Balance on completion. What percentage do you ask for, what if they don't have the full deposit, etc?  Work doesn't begin until the deposit is received..........almost 100% pay when the fish is brought in.

8.) What steps do you take to protect your self with a customer's perception of how the fish was when they brought it to you? In other words, you un-thaw a frozen fish that was dropped off and you find scares and torn fins after the customer told you it was a perfect fish when it was dropped off? What do you do in the situation?  As a general rule, I indicate on the paperwork that the fish is frozen at the time it is dropped off and I tell the customer that since it's frozen, I will call the customer if I discover any problems.  Thus far no problems with this policy.

Basic Taxidermy
9.) Fins when is a fish to big to use real fins? When I do a skin mount I use the real fins unless there is a reason to replace them i.e. many of the trout in this area are stocked and fins are clipped or chewed off so these are often replaced.
a.) How do you address the carding of your fins on a larger fish?  Larger is relative but locally 'large' fish are stripers or largemouth bass.  I use hardware cloth on back side and plastic on the front (I recycle alot of the clear, rigid plastic used in packaging...vacu-formed packaging.)
b.) What do you card them with? See above
c.) What do you coat them with? Not sure what you're asking here.  I don't 'coat' the fins with anything when I'm carding them for drying.  When backing the fins, I presently use Tuff-fin and silkspan as a general rule.  On some I still use the old method of blue and poster board type cardboard.
d.) Do you trim them if so how do you perform this task? I think scissors is the most appropriate response as I understand your questions.  I try to avoid smooth edges however which tend to look un-natural.

10.) How do you preserve your Fish skin?  Denatured alcohol/water 50:50 overnight and soak in borax/water for half hour or so prior to mounting, while making final adjustments to fish form.   

Fun Bonus Question

11. Who were or are some of your greatest influences in taxidermy and why? Joe Hurt (Stone Mountain Georgia), Ed Thompson (Atlanta Ga), Charlie Flemming( Marietta, GA) would be at the top of the potentially long list.  Why?  Because when I first met these  gentlemen in the 70s I was a wannabe and they had already achieved the goals I set for myself.  Being open to talking with taxidermists about taxidermy openly was not a common principle at that point in history and yet these men, as far as I'm concerned, openly provided all the information I was able incorporate into conversations with them.
.






Logged

Jerry
Rick Krane
Platinum Member
*****
Location: Hinsdale NH
Posts: 2464


Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor


WWW Email
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2006, 07:12:22 PM »

WOW what a weekend with a bunch of cool and valuable information all for free! (Thank you Ken!) Hey Jeff! No problem it is so good to see you on here! So many great guys like this past week who all come together and share so we all can do better fish work and maybe meet some new friends to fish with in the process! I think if we could get Jim Hall, Tom Sexton, Don Frank and a few others (so many great teachers of the craft o0ut there!) we would have the Fish Syndicate complete! From this past week and forward I will again categorize the questions and folks can feel free to answer all or just the ones that they feel like share with!

Awesome week so far! Thanks to Ken, Frank, Marc, Dave, Rich, Jerry, JWJ, John, James, A good friend from MD, and maybe next week Jeff with through out a thought or 2! I thank you and so many more do as well!

My Best
Rick Krane
Logged

Join us for Anglers Artistry's Big Announcement! Click the Banner for more information:

 
http://anglersartistry.com
Please like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Rick.Krane.Anglers.Artistry
Pages: [1] 2 Print 
Taxidermy.Net Forum  |  Taxidermy Discussion Categories  |  Fish Taxidermy  |  Topic: Sunday morning questions(SMQ's) part 38 « previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP
Contents © 2006-2017 Taxidermy.Net, LLC. All rights reserved. © 2017 Carbon Media Group Outdoors. Privacy Policy.
Powered by SMF 2.0.9 | SMF © 2011, Simple Machines
| TOS | Privacy
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.05 seconds with 33 queries.