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NTA show - is there a "habitat" division?

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Mink, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. Dan

    Dan One Year Old Already!

    I don't know where you guys are seeing the automatic blue ribbons in the habitat category, cause I sure haven't seen it.

    If you are hiring judges that give all blues to habitat, whether they deserve it or not, it's time to either look for different judges or assign one competent judge to do the habitats.
  2. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Dan, have you ever had a habitat judged? Have you looked at the NTA Habitat Score Sheet. If a judge has any objectivity, most of the diorama's get blue. They get it because there are only 50 points to be obtained an the criteria is so loose, unless the person uses eucalyptius in a mountain goat scene, there's not much wiggle room to give a piece any less.

  3. Amy

    Amy Mammal artist

    I have judged habitats before, and a lot of points are deducted for quality of craftsmanship. Exposed glue, wires, pins.. sawdust... cloudy water, extremely artificial looking plants. Items not securely attached to base (or not attached at all).
  4. Wildside

    Wildside Active Member

    George have you ever had a habitat judged? I thought I read you don't even compete.

    Everyone can argue about every catagory and say things arent judged properly. If someone wants to pay for anothers opinion, who cares? Let them get what they pay for.
  5. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Wildside, I never competed outside my VERY SMALL state show I held here for about 10 years. And YES, I've had habitat judged and thought Cole's remarks were especially funny because the ribbon he showed is exactly what we awarded Habitats. Richard Christoforo told me early on that it was unfair to other participants to give such a huge ribbon as we awareded taxidermy for habitat work that was simply there to embellish the mount it was presented on.

    Here, have fun.

  6. Mink

    Mink New Member

    This is what I've come up with so far in redoing the habitat. Literally took out everything that was below the driftwood that the marten is attached to. Added a couple more twigs that kind of follow the shape of the driftwood. The base still looks quite flat but I'm going to work on that. I also need to add snow to the bare spot in back where the rock was, and some along the front edge, but overall I'm happier with it now than I was previously. Whoever had said I was overthinking it, was correct--Simpler looks alot better to me!

    Attached Files:

  7. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    It is much better. I'm still not crazy about the shape of the panel or lack of earth between it and the dusting of snow but overall it is much more attractive to look at.
  8. Wildside

    Wildside Active Member

    The issue I have with it is the fact that you plan on competing with this piece that you have not only got advice to fix your original work but also that it is being put out there for judges to see before the competition. This gets brought to our attention at our state level and it causes problems within the association.
  9. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    Judges see competition pieces before judging all the time. Most of the time it is because the pc. has been to another show, but it's the same thing. Who cares? I've had judges mention something about my base they don't care for, and after hearing them out I agreed and changed it before the next show. I'm sure you take issue with that as well. As long as the work is hers, it's not a big deal to me.
  10. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Methinks someone is trying to make competitions into some phenomenon they aren't. Tell me how, with that mentality, how the beauty contest circuits work.
  11. Wildside

    Wildside Active Member

    We have members that feel your work is just that, the best you can do on your own. Before getting advice or help from others. This includes critiques from others. Yes, you do the work, however one example was that if you mount a deer in your shop by yourself will YOUR work be the same as if you had Joe Medor, Fred V. Jodi Green, etc. standing behind you the entire process pointing things out?

    As an officer of our state association I have heard and seen many complaints or rules questioned throug the years. Some things never change, except for there may be a new issue or a new member with the same issue. But there are always things questioned
  12. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    So you and your members don't travel to more than one show with the same piece?
  13. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    And they obviously sculpt their competition forms, cast their own jaw sets, cast and paint their own eyes and don't use commercial tans. How would you dare have Rick Carter sculpting your manikin, Harvey Mohr making your jaw sets, Tohickon making your eyes and Knobloch making your chemicals. I mean, how fair is that having those guys helping you out? What a crock.
  14. Cole there is a lot of people who dont campaign pieces. Many things I have competed with have been to one or two shows not three four or five.

    I did have a piece a couple years ago that went to three shows, but between each show I made changes and one show had major changes.

    And I have seen habitats not get ribbons or even a second. If the habitat is not done well then no ribbons should be given and I have never seen an automatic blue ribbon on any habitat!
  15. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    Of course, not everyone attends multiple shows every year. But there are those that enjoy attending multiple shows, and the amount of time it takes to complete one or two pieces, it isn't feasible to put new ones together for each and every show. Making changes like you did is exactly what Wildside is talking about, you did so after a critique so in his mind it wouldn't be kosher. I think I made my point clear, that I don't see a problem with listening to the opinions of someone and making adjustments to your piece. The example he gave was having Meder standing over your shoulder is a little off base, because that would be different than doing something 100% on your own, listening to the opinions of a few people, then returning to your shop to make adjustments 100% on your own.
  16. Wildside

    Wildside Active Member

    First of all I said that issues come up at the state competition level, not my opinion. Being involved with the association as a board member or officer for over 13 years, things come up often by members. Cole and George should get more involved in the industry besides so negative and confrontational on here all the time. Everyone sees things differently, I get it. You don't like habitat, don't do it and don't compete with it. You don't like to listen to others that have opiniions that differ from from you, thats fine. You obviously do not know much about how the associations run or the competitions. You have to listen to the membership and what they want. I only shared what we have witnessed.
    Cole the example is "off based"? Only because it is a direct example someone gave. I think you need to look at what they were saying. What about those competitors that work in a shop with a well accomplished taxidermist that looks at the new competitiors mount every day and may even stand there and give opinions as the mount is being put together. The question to us was "Could this competitor put together the same mount on their own without the assistance of others throughout the process?" "Could they even be put in a room alone and reproduce the same mount or even anything close".
    I only said "I can see their point" My return question was also concerning the changes made before another competition after having it judged and critiqued. All I know is, its all gonna happen reguardless of what anyone thinks. You go to a competition to get what you want out of it. For some it is awards and ribbons, others go for the education and yet some go more for the socialization and comradery.
  17. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Wildside what's really needed is for you to get a clue. Cole is a helluva lot better taxidermist than I, but I have been as "involved" in this industry as anyone. I'm sure BOTH of us have the utmost appreciation of habitat, but we accept it as an ancillary to TAXIDERMY. We understand why competitions don't make them a priority to offsetting bad taxidermy. We also know that "we go to competitions for education" is pure unadulterated horse spit. NO ONE GOES WITH "EDUCATION" AS A GOAL. If that were true, the competitions could save a ton of money and stop buying ribbon a and trophies.

    Competitions and judges to them are just like yard sales with paintings of Elvis on velvet: there's always somebody who thinks they're beautiful. You can't teach talent and you can create a discerning eye for those too blind to see.
  18. Mink

    Mink New Member

    Not exactly true. If I did not learn anything at competitions, I would stop going to them! I started out entirely self-taught in taxidermy. I could not afford any of the taxidermy schools, so I had to rely mostly on my own readings and a short apprenticeship at a local taxidermy shop.

    This taxidermist I apprenticed at, did not go to competitions. But he suggested that I might be able to learn more by going to them, than he could ever teach me. I found this to be quite true when I entered my first show with this gray fox, my first solo mount done at his shop, under his "instructions"... Needless to say, this did not score very well at all! But the judge was kind enough to critique it honestly and thoroughly, and spent a great deal of time showing me what I needed to improve.

    And, after many competitions later, here is my most recent gray fox. I completely understand that my work still needs improvement. But when you compare how I started out, and how my work appears now... you can't say that competitions aren't educational! Quite honestly, I have learned something new at every show I go to. And that is why I enjoy them so much. Maybe some people have different opinions on this, but for someone like me who's had no professional training, I consider competitions to be among the best learning experiences out there.
  19. Wildside

    Wildside Active Member

    George please get a clue with me. I don't care how good of a taxidermist anyone is. I could argue about most of what you just said. However you could not be farther from the truth on people going for the education. I understand you can't teach an old dog new tricks and you can't tell a know it all anything, so I understand why YOU think that.
    However many people attend shows and may not even bring a mount. Maybe THEY just come to buy a ribbon. Yes, most people that compete want to win or at least do well. Thats the competitive nature. I am glad to see Willinghams Taxidermy also uses the convention for an educational experience.
  20. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Well this ain't my first video and I didn't fall off the onion truck last night. That "education" crap is the lie this industry industry has convinced itself of to the point the gullible accept as truth. If education was ever a goal, why not pay for a seminar? It would be cheaper than than gas, food, lodging, registration, and entry fees. No one's arguing that you get "educated", but most competitors are still convinced their work is better than the judge- so why not pay for a one-on-one seminar where you're shown how to make changes in a non-competitive atmosphere.

    I've been to dozens of competitions where I was NOT COMPETING, and certainly did attend to be EDUCATED . But it was still in a seminar and NOT IN THE COMPETITION ROOM.

    And just so you know, I've taught dozens of people but I never lost sight of my own abilities. When a student met or exceeded my talent, I told them to CALL BILL YOX, KEN WALKER, OR RICK KRANE. If you doubt that, just ask them.