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competing with fish(replicas)

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Joey Arender, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    Brian......you mean Rich is offended 'cause he would rather be considered a lowly taxidermist rather than a skilled mold maker AND a wildlife artist??????

    Kinda like DaVinci wanting to be in the house painters union... ::) ::) ::)

    Sorry guys.........Pescado brought up a good point about licensing.

    In Illinois it is illegal to sell a skin mounted fish. It is not illegal to sell a replica 'cause it's not the REAL THING and NOT covered or regulated by the DNR...

    Can't sell whole fish either......

  2. Perca

    Perca Well-Known Member

    One time I read on the buy/sell forum where a guy wanted to buy a frozen fish hole. [​IMG]

  3. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)


    **One time I read on the buy/sell forum where a guy wanted to buy a frozen fish hole**

    Maybe he is a butcher?


  4. Harum

    Harum Active Member

    A frozen fish hole sounds like a very uninviting place ;D
  5. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    I think that image may come to mind when some guys read my posts........... ;D :D


    GBRUCH "I am nothing without christ".....John 15:5

    Paul in PA you must have a taxidermy license if you handle/mold the actual fish---you do not if you purchase blanks,

    I would have went all replicas and ditched the taxidermy license if I could still mold actual fish without it.
  7. AnglingArtisan

    AnglingArtisan Well-Known Member

    I'm not really offended. I just concluded that maybe according to your definition of what a taxidermist is or isn't that I may not belong here on this forum....that's all.
    And maybe Ralph C. Morrill mis-titled his book "Museum Quality Fish TAXIDERMY"(c. 1984) since it is entirely about molding and casting fish. And A.J. McClane was wrong when the entry he included in "McClane's Standard Fishing Encyclopedia"(c. 1965); under Taxidermy(FISH) was as well regarding only the Molding and Casting of a fish.
    I don't know man...can't we all just get along? I actually wish more fish carvers and illustrators/painters would feel free to frequent this forum too and maybe some photographers to add more to the reference category...Can't you just see the happy little world I envision here man...It's the Bob Ross in me bro!
    Peace Doug! World Peace! haha!
  8. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    Wow...I knew I should'nt have read all the posts in this thread. Pretty enlightening to follow how some people think. I've been a TAXIDERMIST for 61 years....almost as long as this thread has lasted. I don't do fish the same way I did them 61 years ago. Back then we skinned the fish after making a paper outline of the fish, fleshed the skin and threw it in a barrel of denatured alcohol while we made the body.....an excelsior wrapped board with a tail juncture shaved thin. Then we covered that body with plaster of Paris and sanded in the details we wanted then gave it three coats of shellac. The head of the fish was opened from the top (cold water fish) and all of the jelly parts were removed and later replaced with "Magic Wood" and shaped. Then the skin was placed and glued to the wrapped body and allowed to dry for at least a month. The top of the head was covered with molten wax and "flamed" to a smooth finish. Then the fish was given a couple of coats of shellac then several color washes were applied and another coat of clear shellac was used to seal it all in. That my friends was what TAXIDERMY was all about. I wouldn't go back to that crap if you paid me. I now do replicas, use replacement noses..etc,etc,etc and my business card says I'm a taxidermist....LIVE WITH IT!!!
    Now as far as competing with a bought replica (the original question). I agree that they can be used up to the MASTERS division. Once you enter that class I believe you should be forced by regulation to only enter reproductions moulded and finished by the competing taxidermist. To do this the taxidermist had to set the fish in a pose with the skin properly positioned to mould it. He/she had to position the fins to be moulded "taxied" them if you wish. And if all this isn't taxidermy in some purists mind then he/she has their brain wrapped in excelsior. Just my opimion..JL
  9. dougp

    dougp Active Member


    How you would ever think that I, or anyone, of sound mind would ever think that you and your abilities would not be welcome on this site is just a misconception.

    I have said that you and many others doing replicas are an inspiration to all who visit here.

    We may disagree on the definition of taxidermy but I think we all aspire to the same ultimate goal even if we choose different methods, at times, to achieve that goal.

    You have a special talent, along with many others have who visit his forum.

    It was never my intent to diminish that. My hat is off to you sir... :)

    We just see some things a little differently.

    I see the work you do, as you post on here, as a goal many will aspire to and never fully achieve.

    I have said earlier that what you do is very special.......I mean that...truly.

    I think you and others like you are doing wonderful artistic renditions.......I just don't think it's real taxidermy.

    I hope you can try to understand my position. I have a true respect for what you do. I never meant to offend............. :)

  10. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    JL...I respect your years in the industry, I do disagree [I think] with your current overall impression of "taxidermy" as you express in your post.

    I don't do fish the same way I did 35 years ago either. The industry has evolved certainly. That's fine and good .

    I personally don't believe that the definition of what taxidermy is should change because of new innovations which may move us away from the original intent
    which was to preserve the original specimen to the best of our ability.

    With all due respect JL [sincerely] what your business card says is not proof of what you are doing.

    Replicas are not the REAL thing.....taxidermy was meant to be the REAL thing, as best as we could

    OK.......artificial head [prefferably molded from the original] on some fish to alleviate grease issues etc.

    IF a fish is fully replicated in any material, other than the original skin, I don't consider that to be taxidermy.

    Earlier in this thread I mentioned "hybrid taxidermy" which uses artificial parts such as head and fins.

    OK, I'm good with that as a "hybrid". Requires talent to pull it off.

    When there is NOTHING of the original skin in the finished product............I don't believe it can be called taxidermy.

    I'm stickin' with that..... :)

    Best regards to all...........

  11. Cory

    Cory Keep an eye on quality!

    WHEW! Finally we have all agreed to disagree and people are still bringing in work to all of our shops. I believe I'm just gonna keep on keepin on ;D ;D ;D ;D
  12. AnglingArtisan

    AnglingArtisan Well-Known Member

    Here is the definition of TAXIDERMY that I go by(taken from the "WHAT IS TAXIDERMY?" page of Taxidermy.net)
    Here's a link:http://www.taxidermy.net/information/whatis.html
    and the text:
    Taxidermy is a general term describing the many methods of reproducing a life-like three-dimensional representationof an animal for permanent display. In some cases, the actual skin (includingthe fur, feathers or scales) of the specimen is preserved and mounted overan artificial armature. In other cases, the specimen is reproduced completely with man-made materials.
    The word "taxidermy" is derived from two ancient Greek words; taxis, meaning movement; andderma, meaning skin. Therefore, loosely translated, taxidermy means the movement of skin. This is a fairly appropriate definition as many taxidermy procedures involve removing the natural skin from the specimen, replacing this skin over an artificial body, and adjusting the skin until it appears lifelike.

    The modern practice of taxidermy incorporates many crafts, such as carpentry,woodworking, tanning, molding and casting; but it also requires artistic talent, including the art of sculpture, painting and drawing. In a modern deer head mount, for example, the only natural parts of the animal used are the antlers and the skin. All of the other organs and tissues are recreated with man-made materials. The eyes are made from glass, the eyelids are sculpted from clay, the soft tissues of the nose and mouth are sculpted from epoxy or wax, and the mannikin or "form" (which incorporates the anatomy of each muscle and vein) is made from polyurethane foam.

    Today,some taxidermy mounts (most notably saltwater fish) do not contain any parts of the animal at all. They are completely re-created from man-made materials. This is ideal for catch-and-release anglers, who can release their gamefish unharmed, and can still have a life-sized trophy producedfrom a good color photo and measurements.
    Works of taxidermy are displayed in museums, educational institutions, businesses, restaurants, and homes.There are many different methods for producing mounts (or re-creations)of different species. For an overview of the methods commonly used in thetaxidermy of a particular specimen, choose from the following links:
  13. AnglingArtisan

    AnglingArtisan Well-Known Member

    Taken from: Taxidermy.net "Fish Taxidermy Techniques" page:

    Most saltwater fish (as well as many cold water fish) are entirely recreated from man-made materials. Without question, these synthetic mounts are the most long-lasting taxidermy renderings. While the fish is fresh, a carefully constructed mold of the fish is made. Then, the body and fins of the fish are cast in fiberglass reinforced polyester resin. The mold of the fish is called a fiberglass "blank" at this point, because it has no markings or color. The taxidermist must entirely create the coloration on the mount to make it appear like a live fish.

    Due to the restrictive costs of molding and reproducing fiberglass gamefish, it is not commercially feasible to make a special mold for every sportsman's catch, nor is it necessary. Taxidermists found out years ago that one 84" sailfish was shaped pretty much like any other 84" sailfish. A new industry was born as taxidermists with a good selection of fish molds started constructing multiple reproduction fish from their molds. These fiberglass fish blanks are sold to other taxidermists throughout the country who only have to prepare the fish and paint it to convincing coloration.

    Fiberglass reproductions are gaining in popularity. They are ideal for use on difficult species to mount: large fish, greasy fish, or fish which are difficult to skin, such as catfish. They are also great for catch and release programs or other conservation methods. Another advantage is the longevity of the mount. A fiberglass reproduction could conceivably last for thousands of years. They are practically indestructible.
  14. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    DougP.....You remind me of the purist fly fisherman who claims that "only dry flies make up the definition of FLY FISHING". You're stuck in a rut and refuse to move on. I love you for your tenacity.....and stick to it. ;) The rest of us will keep moving on. JL
  15. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

    NO! Only dry flies make up the definition of Dry Flie Fishing!
  16. AnglingArtisan

    AnglingArtisan Well-Known Member

    taken from: Wikipedia

    Some taxidermy specimens do not involve a carcass at all, particularly in the case of sporting fish such as trout and bass, for which the practice of catch and release is becoming increasingly prevalent. Instead, detailed photos and measurements are taken of the animal, and then a taxidermist creates a resin or fiberglass sculpture of the animal that can be mounted and displayed as a specimen. The actual animal is released unharmed.
  17. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    Rich.....OK, if that is the definition of taxidermy that you go by I will agree with your position about replicas being under the heading of "taxidermy."

    I don't agree with that definition however....LOL!! ;D

    I think that definition is much too broad, but I'll leave it at that. I won't belabor the topic anymore.

    Good job of reinforcing your position with credible evidence.

    JL.....you say that I'm "stuck in a rut". How do you make THAT assumption? Kind of a bold thing to say about someone you don't know, don't you think?? ??? ::)

    You say I refuse to "move on"......move on to what?? I do skin mounts, replicas, carvings and sculpture.....what am lacking to get out of my rut, as you say??

    No harm no foul............just opinions. ;D

    BTW, your son's airbrushing is terrific!!

    I've planted my flag on this issue and I'll stand by it. ;D ;)

    Best Regards,

  18. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    Look guys, my wifes uncle owned a ceramic studio. If he were to make a mold of a skin mounted fish and cast it in plaster and paint it.......
    that would make him a "taxidermist" by the definition Rich provided.

    I don't accept that concept. Much too broad and not defining at all.

    Just sayin'....call it whatever you like, I'll just stay in my cozy little rut..... :D :D

  19. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    In thinking about the scenario of my wife's uncle w/ ceramics, he could also advertise taxidermy services and not have to have a taxidermy license in Illinos and NOT be regulated by the DNR.

    He would also not have to keep specimens tagged or keep any bookwork for inspection.

    He would not be subject to inspection by game wardens or conservation police......but he could call himself a taxidermist by the posted definition.

    HHMmmmmmm....pretty good deal, eh? ;D ;D

  20. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    Sorry I could not have your back Doug. I was too busy this weekend to spend any time here. If I read all those post sright I agree with you 100%. Don't know if that helps or hurts you :D

    I do all aspects of fish "taxidermy" including reproductions so I don't have a un-informed opinion. In fact I was the one who got the rules changed here so repros could compete for BOC Fish awards and Medallions. I don't have a problem with either, I just prefer skin mounts.

    You guys never answered what GUN you would take your Dad's old shotgun or the perfect copy? Don't have a gun....how about what fishing rod would you take?

    If you don't take the perfect copy then you are talking out of your rears.