Sunday morning questions(SMQ's) part 39
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Rick Krane
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« on: November 18, 2006, 10:17:10 PM »

Week 39

Good Sunday Morning (Saturday Night Technically)!  

Well here we are week 39. This week again I have put the question in categories and you can answer all of them or just a few! In the 38 previous weeks there has been over a thousand answers and lots of great information shared with all of us!!!
This week we have some thing very special and pretty cool! Mr. Dave Campbell of Tacoma WA AKA UFD who makes really great fish heads and Reproduction fish is giving a free head way for the first person to get question 10 correct! A Big Thank you to Dave!!!!!! Give it a shot!!!!

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!

Reproduction or casting;

1.What are some important things you may advice some that is casting a fish head for the first time?

General;

2. What is your favorite epoxies to use for modeling and blending and why?

3. What do you use for a mounting or a painting stand? How do you come up with it and did you make your own?


Technical;

4. How do you transition the head into the body of a Largemouth bass body?

5. Are fish harder to do taxidermy wise than any other aspect of the trade? What are your thoughts?

6. In learning fish taxidermy how much of the "old) methods are still worth learning? Use of real heads or fins? What are your thoughts on this?

7. At what point do you say when a fish is dry enough to finish and paint? How do you know when it is done?


Interest Questions;

8. Who was the first fish judge to critique your work and what did you learn from that experience?

9. Why don't we have standard for quality work in our industry?


Bonus Question

10. What is this fish? No guessing (well you can) but you will have to explain how you can identify this fish as what you say it is? First one to get it correct will get a FREE FISH HEAD from Mr. Dave Campbell of Tacoma WA. Dave as we all know and love as UFD make some of the best if not the best Fish heads and reproduction fish out there! So if you have tried them here is your chance to get one for free!
Daves Web site for his products is http://home.att.net/~drcgnw/

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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GregStehlingandSons
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Montana Bull Trout Reproduction


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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2006, 10:49:26 PM »

Reproduction or casting;

1.What are some important things you may advice some that is casting a fish head for the first time?

Read good articles on the subject,practice on a smaller head first. Use only the best materials!! Don't over do the gill flare... common mistake.

General;

2. What is your favorite epoxies to use for modeling and blending and why?

Aves, been using it for years with good results.

3. What do you use for a mounting or a painting stand? How do you come up with it and did you make your own?
We have a number of stands and fixtures we use- we welded( arc) up a super stand for big repro's.
Technical;

4. How do you transition the head into the body of a Largemouth bass body?

Starts with a good carving job... maches at juncture to fit... no drooping heads around here.

5. Are fish harder to do taxidermy wise than any other aspect of the trade? What are your thoughts?

In some ways, yes.. as it's hard to hide problems... talk to the big game guys, it will make you want to RUN back to the fish shop.

6. In learning fish taxidermy how much of the "old) methods are still worth learning? Use of real heads or fins? What are your thoughts on this?

Some of the old ways are still the best... Real fins on most items... artificail heads on coldwater and saltwater.

7. At what point do you say when a fish is dry enough to finish and paint? How do you know when it is done?

No smellls... All junctures firm... about two weeks.

Interest Questions;

8. Who was the first fish judge to critique your work and what did you learn from that experience?

Never competed... unless you count the open market...lots of lessons learned there.

9. Why don't we have standard for quality work in our industry?
Our industry is not professional enough or organized enough at this time.


Bonus Question

10. What is this fish? No guessing (well you can) but you will have to explain how you can identify this fish as what you say it is? First one to get it correct will get a FREE FISH HEAD from Mr. Dave Campbell of Tacoma WA. Dave as we all know and love as UFD make some of the best if not the best Fish heads and reproduction fish out there! So if you have tried them here is your chance to get one for free!
Not the best at the guessing game...
Looks to be silver salmon, can't see any definate spots on the fish...wish I had a better look at the inside of the mouth... probably should have Greg look at it before I post, but thats my best shot.

Aaron Stehling
« Last Edit: November 18, 2006, 11:13:27 PM by GregStehlingandSons » Logged

AnglingArtisan
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2006, 11:14:11 PM »

Reproduction or casting;

1.What are some important things you may advice some that is casting a fish head for the first time?
Follow the instructions in the Breakthrough Fish Taxidermy Manual

General;

2. What is your favorite epoxies to use for modeling and blending and why?
Magic-Sculpt

3. What do you use for a mounting or a painting stand? How do you come up with it and did you make your own?
A piece of 1x6 for the base...1x2 for an angled upright and a support brace behind that. Screw the fish directly to the upright...I'm sure there are better designs, but this is cheap, easy and it works for me.

Technical;

4. How do you transition the head into the body of a Largemouth bass body?
Repro head...with Magic Sculpt

5. Are fish harder to do taxidermy wise than any other aspect of the trade? What are your thoughts?
Never done any other aspects, but have been told that it is harder to master because of the painting aspect and also because there is no fur to hide any blemishes with.

6. In learning fish taxidermy how much of the "old) methods are still worth learning? Use of real heads or fins? What are your thoughts on this?
Sure, start with it... but be sure to compare your work to live/fresh reference and realize that some of the "new" techniques will help you better achieve realism

7. At what point do you say when a fish is dry enough to finish and paint? How do you know when it is done?
Usually on a Bass with the real head, it is when the mouth interior/throat area tightens/hardens up and does not feel fleshy to the touch

Interest Questions;

8. Who was the first fish judge to critique your work and what did you learn from that experience?
n/a

9. Why don't we have standard for quality work in our industry?
Because artists are born...not made? It is possible for almost anybody to open up a Taxidermy shop, but that does not mean every one of them posseses talent.
 


Bonus Question

10. What is this fish? No guessing (well you can) but you will have to explain how you can identify this fish as what you say it is? First one to get it correct will get a FREE FISH HEAD from Mr. Dave Campbell of Tacoma WA. Dave as we all know and love as UFD make some of the best if not the best Fish heads and reproduction fish out there! So if you have tried them here is your chance to get one for free!
Daves Web site for his products is http://home.att.net/~drcgnw/


Chinook Salmon?
I think it is because of the shape of the anal fin and tail


I answered this question last night, but the more and more I look at it...I would say that they are Sockeye Salmon ( I really can't positively identify any spots and also the peduncle section seems more slender than a Chinook)
« Last Edit: November 19, 2006, 03:38:30 PM by AnglingArtisan » Logged
POOH
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2006, 02:53:47 AM »

Bonus Question
The fish in the photo are chum or dog salmon.I'm going with the shape of the tail and large pupil in eye.
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Frank E. Kotula
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2006, 05:59:02 AM »

Reproduction or casting;

1.What are some important things you may advice some that is casting a fish head for the first time?
Make sure it's fresh and make sure sure it's set up poperly.

General;

2. What is your favorite epoxies to use for modeling and blending and why?
Apoxie sculpt. Not as shinny and blends well into the skin. Textures what I need.
Finish seam work is epo-grips guick repair or seam repair. Great stuff.

3. What do you use for a mounting or a painting stand?
What ever I find

 How do you come up with it and did you make your own?

Technical;

4. How do you transition the head into the body of a Largemouth bass body?
When I attach the head I will epoxy the the repair area and take a small patch of rtv mold that I have made for an area of the head and scales and make the scales back in the fish again.

5. Are fish harder to do taxidermy wise than any other aspect of the trade?
Yes and it's really the painting that makes the difference.

What are your thoughts?

6. In learning fish taxidermy how much of the "old) methods are still worth learning? Use of real heads or fins? What are your thoughts on this? NONE are worth it.

7. At what point do you say when a fish is dry enough to finish and paint? Two weeks hanging by my warm furnance is plenty of time for drying.

How do you know when it is done? I can see through the skin and see my form underneath it.

Interest Questions;

8. Who was the first fish judge to critique your work and what did you learn from that experience?
Rick Krane, any thing I wanted to know......... yes any question I asked it was answered.

9. Why don't we have standard for quality work in our industry?
I'll say it's the puplic that cause's it.

Bonus Question

10. What is this fish? No guessing (well you can) but you will have to explain how you can identify this fish as what you say it is? First one to get it correct will get a FREE FISH HEAD from Mr. Dave Campbell of Tacoma WA. Dave as we all know and love as UFD make some of the best if not the best Fish heads and reproduction fish out there! So if you have tried them here is your chance to get one for free!
Daves Web site for his products is http://home.att.net/~drcgnw/

I'll leave this alone for the head guys.
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Frank E. Kotula
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one on one classes 570-819-0391
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Pescado
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2006, 08:27:22 AM »

#10

        Chinook Salmon

                              Reasons for this conclusion are a more squared tail than other salmon, spots present on lower portion of tail and the number of rays on the anal fin (looks to be more than 15).
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Paul Borkowski
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2006, 08:55:01 AM »

#10    Sockeye, small loose scales, small 6# fish and they look like they were caught in Lake Washington
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Ken D
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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2006, 09:12:46 AM »

Thanks Rick...everybody have a great week!

Reproduction or casting;

1.What are some important things you may advice some that is casting a fish head for the first time?
The more effort you take in setting up the mold the better your casting will be.

General;

2. What is your favorite epoxies to use for modeling and blending and why?
Apoxie Sculpt. Blends wellavailable in multiple colors and good consistency.

3. What do you use for a mounting or a painting stand? How do you come up with it and did you make your own?
I only use one for larger fish and I use a regular mounting stand. I just attach the fish to a 2 x 4 and the board to the stand.

Technical;

4. How do you transition the head into the body of a Largemouth bass body?
Not sure of the exact context of the question but Ill give it a go. I rebuild the shrunken areas of the head with apoxie sculpt. I sculpt in the ridges and if there was any scale or detail lost at the transition point I sculpt it back.

5. Are fish harder to do taxidermy wise than any other aspect of the trade? What are your thoughts?
I dont think so. I think that all species have their challenges but on a commercial level, fish probably are probably more forgiving than a lot. Thats my opinion.

6. In learning fish taxidermy how much of the "old) methods are still worth learning? Use of real heads or fins? What are your thoughts on this?
Many of them are worth learning or at least being familiar with, if not for the added value of having another option in doing things but to understand techniques that have been a part of the evolution of taxidermy.

7. At what point do you say when a fish is dry enough to finish and paint? How do you know when it is done?
Experience probably is the best judge of that but most of us never know when to leave well enough alone.

Interest Questions;

8. Who was the first fish judge to critique your work and what did you learn from that experience?
Unofficially it was Joe Rodgers with a bass and although I have to admit that I had never even imagined to look at the things he talked about I definitely left with some direction. Officially, I think it was Henry Ford and if memory serves it was a bluegill at a show in Macon Georgia. I think I got a second on that fish and Henry is one of those guys that doesnt try to give you more information than you can decipher at one time. Thats helped me a lot in my own teaching.

9. Why don't we have standard for quality work in our industry?
Most of us like to consider taxidermy an art on one level or anothersome consider it craftsmanship. Whatever it is, it is not unlike any other art or craft. Each individual piece is unique in one respect or another and an industry wide standard might not allow for that. Besides, we had probably better get our act together as a unified professional industry before we want to start even think about QA or anything else.


10. Bonus.
Chum Salmon. What would make this distictive would be the point where the caudal connects with the body...it is very slender on the chum. You can actually faintly see the vertical pattern on the sides of the fish in these photos. The more mature these fish get and the closer they get to fresh water, the more pronounced these markings are going to become.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2006, 09:46:55 AM by fishwork » Logged

Rick Krane
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« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2006, 03:30:09 PM »

WOW some very good answers I will announce who is the winner this evening! Good luck!

Rick
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« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2006, 04:12:26 PM »

Thanks for another week of great questions Rick.

1) No opinion as yet as I'm not qualified in this department but once I get Rick's new video on casting heads I might have an opinion.

2) Apoxie Sculpt and White Lightning because they are easy to work with and give lasting results.

3) My stand is homemade and consists of a piece of hardwood cut to fit into a 6 inch section of 2X2 ID steel tube which is mounted into my work area table. A piece of 1X6 is screwed to this to hold the fish if it is to be wall mounted or a piece of 5/16 rod can be put into a pre drilled hole and inserted in the fish's mouth if it is to be a pedestal mount.

4) Sculpt in any shrinkage at transition area and also on jaws and gill plate and inside of mouth.

5) Fish are like anything else in taxidermy, the more you do consistently the easier and faster you become at doing it. Once you figure out a program that works there is no great amount of stressing and therefore making one thing harder than another.

6) I learned at a time when all there was was the old ways and I wouldn't part with a minute of it because it also taught me some common sense problem solving methods that still work today. I'm just trying to figure a way to absorb all the new stuff that changes overnight it seems.

7) When it don't stink anymore and you can see through the skin.

8) Still waiting to do a fish I can send to Rick for critique.

9) As was said earlier, because you can't standardise someones conception of art.

10) I have to go with what I see here and these eyes aren't the greatest but to me going just by head shape and the gunstock shape of the body back at the tail I THINK they are Atlantic Salmon.

Have a great week fishing.   
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UFD
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« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2006, 04:37:10 PM »

1.  If you will be casting heads for the first time, you will most likely be paying more attention to the mechanics of the process rather than putting lots of emphasis on anatomical positioning.  There is nothing wrong with that because you need to get comfortable with the basic process before you start tweaking it.  In this case I would recommend that you have a firm grasp on the mixing, working, and set times of the material you will be using, and to make a sturdy structure for setting up the head that has less of a chance of collapsing or shifting.

2.  I used the original Sculp-all when it first came on the market and was happy with that.  At some point it became difficult to find and there were several knock-offs that I tried but was not very happy with most of them when comparing to the original.  I have settled on the Van Dykes Sculp-Epox and it works well enough that I havent tried any of the newer examples from other companies.

3.  I dont use a stand to paint nearly all of the fish I do, rather I just move them around on a stool, my lap, or whatever.  For positioning fins, I use a couple wires bent into a U shape and then the ends bent at right angles.  I use two per fish poked into the foam body and they help stabilize each other almost like a torsion system with the U end clamped in a vice.

4.  If I am using the real head on a bass mount, I like to use clay at the head-to-body junction because I can work with it a little as the fish goes through its initial drying stage.  If using a cast head, I blend the transition with sculpting epoxy, paying attention to any hump that needs to be there in relation to how far the head is expanded, and then sculpt and/or carve the scales and bone detail into the epoxy. 

5.  From my perspective, fish may have some difficulties in regards to taxidermy, but they are things that I am willing to try to understand because I really enjoy doing fish taxidermy and try to meet the challenge.  In contrast, I am not that interested or willing to attempt to get better at other animals, so I find just the thought of trying to get better at them a little overwhelming.  The interest just isnt there and my results early on when I tried were much less than acceptable, but I never let that stop me when it comes to learning on fish.

6.  I covered this last week, but I will add that I think to at least try to use some of the old methods may also give a little better understanding of the anatomy and physiology of fish.  Newer methods are great at copying nature, but with some of the older methods one (in my opinion) has to try to understand the basic workings of the fish a little more in-depth because you will be putting what you know (or in other words, your interpretation) into the final mount.  That is important to me because it allows me to learn more about the species rather than just the mechanics of taxidermy, and it also lends itself to the fact that ones fish taxidermy can be unique because it is ones artistic impression of what nature is.

7.  It is hard to say when a fish is dry and ready to do finish work because temperatures and humidity varies throughout the year, but I like to be able to touch them and come to the conclusion by feel that there isnt any perceived dampness or clamminess to the mount and no soft spots that could continue shrinking.  The phrase bone dry counts for a lot!


8.  I really cant remember the name of the judge who was at the first show that I entered a fish in (Oregon 1988).  I had to drop off the fish and get back to work and then go back the last day to pick up the fish, and by then he was not present in the competition area, so I didnt get a critique other than on the scoresheet (my fault).  Tom Witbeck was at the NWTA show in early 1989, which was my second time to enter, and I learned to pay lots of attention to the profile of the fish, which was very valuable information in the grand scheme.

9.  I think that the results (quality) seen in commercial fish taxidermy (or any taxidermy for that matter) is always going to be a function of the time spent and talent of the individual doing the work, and those factors related to that individuals perception of what the market wants, or niche of that market the individual wants to fill.  In regards to the marketplace, you will have people that want to pay very little all the way to those who are willing to pay much more than average.  Not necessary directly related to what a consumer is willing to pay is that consumers perception of what is considered quality to themself.  Just as you would have someone scoff at paying little money for a poor job you would also have someone scoff at paying a higher price for a very good job, especially in some cases if they are not capably trained (or sometimes willing) to recognize it.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that is tempered by what the beholder is willing to pay.  The marketplace will decide in the end, which is as it should be.

10.  Rick, thanks for the wonderful words (you sure do know how to pile on the BS - LOL!  ;D), and I'm looking forward to sending the winner a cast head!  I don't have much variety to offer, but I think it is beneficial to the entire industry if we would all make our individual stashes of casts available commercially to each other, just for the sake of having a bigger variety to choose from to better match a client's fish dimensions and uniqueness on a commercial level.  Anyway, I'll add a few thoughts on ID'ing bright salmon later after Rick announces the winner.
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GregStehlingandSons
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« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2006, 06:31:47 PM »

I still believe it could be a silver salmon... I showed the pic to Greg, and he knows what it is..but will not Tell me ??? , as I'm supposed to know these things....he told me to do my homework.

Two things that give me a little doubt.. upon close inspection, there seems to be some spots near the bottom of the tail, also the mouth on the lower fish seems somewhat dark.. maybe too dark for a silver. It also is a bit slender by the peduncle, but fish can vary and we will have to wait and see...

Thanks again Rick and UFD for this challenge, keeps me on my toes!

Also, UFD- your comment on" artistic impression " is very wise. There are way to many " squares" in this trade who can't see past there own work.There are so many avenues one could take in this business if they only looked a little out of the box. For this reason I never criticise someones work because I feel it looks unnatural to me, as everyone perceives nature differently. Who am I to tell them it's correct or not?

Aaron Stehling
« Last Edit: November 19, 2006, 07:21:29 PM by GregStehlingandSons » Logged

Jeff Lumsden
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« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2006, 08:58:23 PM »

#10 This is great, they can't be keta's or nerka's because they have a black markings on their back. A kisutch would be a good guess, however these fish have dark lower lip lines? Well I think I've narrowed it down to two. The scales look to small for a tshawytscha, and small enough for a gorbuscha! That's my guess Dave, but I'm probably all wet!
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Jeff Lumsden
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« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2006, 10:36:12 PM »

My daughter just came in and asked are you sure that they are the same species? Hmmm if they are different, then I would say that the top one might not have spots, and with a smaller caudal fin and pedincle it should be a keta. The lower fish with spots would be a gorbuscha... :o
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Rick Krane
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« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2006, 11:14:33 PM »

This weeks bonus question affirmed that so many folks who participate in the Sunday Morning Questions are truly into their fish work.  Nothing short of outstanding the educated responses to the bonus question once again demonstrated that in the world of fish taxidermy as I like to say the "fish" is the greatest teacher.  This weeks criteria for the bonus prize generously donated by Mr. Dave Campbell of Tacoma Washington was to accurately name the salmon depicted in the photo with description.  Thou several participants accurately and with great detail demonstrate knowledge of species only one will win.  This weeks winner is "Pooh" pretty good for your first post to the taxidermy forum!  Ken  D and Jeff L also had outstanding descriptions Oncorhynchus keta also known as the big dog or the chum salmon.  Again, thanks Mr. Campbell and all the participants who once again show that with great dedication and an insatiable thirst for knowledge that the words of my friend Jeff Lumsdum "If you can see it, you can duplicate it" no words stand more true for our fish taxidermy.

My Best!

Rick Krane
Anglers Artistry
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