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Knowledge + Competitions = National Standards

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Joe Kish, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. Old Fart

    Old Fart Active Member

    Thank you Joe, for taking us in the right direction those many years ago.

    My first meeting with Joe was in 1983 or 84, when he was a judge for our Minnesota competition in Duluth. Joe will probably remember that competition! It was held in conjunction with the big mid-winter Duluth Sport show. The show provided the MTG with one wall of the arena and the pegboard was all hung "vertically" above the tables in front. That meant that the top of the display was close to 10-12 feet above the floor. Joe spent most of his time on a ladder, "UP THERE" judging mounts!

    Joe also took the time to provide us with a seminar that I would call "Reference and how to make, gather and USE it!". He produced books, photos, charts with measurements, casts and death masks of all sorts. Joe can correct me on this, if I am in error, but I have to believe that he probably brought only one change of clothes with him.......his luggage for that show HAD to have been mostly his reference material to aid his judging! Keep in mind, those were the days where a show had only one or two judges, they were asked to judge "everything", not a specific category like today. That show was huge for it's day, probably well over 300 mounts.

    As part of that seminar, Joe produced a cast of a "plucked" duck and asked us to identify it. NOT so easy without any feathers......but it was eventually identified as a wigeon. He was illustrating "see the unseen" or the duck UNDER the feathers. This was in the days of the EXPENSIVE video camera and no one had one to tape that seminar. I've been to a lot of seminars since then and I can't say I remember ANY of them the way I remember that one.

    Later that year or the next I attended the NTA in Minneapolis and I went to a seminar by Frank Newmeyer. Keep in mind that this was still in the wrapped body era, before the foam bird bodies. Frank's seminar was a lecture on learning bird anatomy and the names of feather tracts, so that you could understand the function and purpose of all of them. He also mounted a bird during the seminar! When Frank threw the seminar open to questions....what do you think was asked? Questions about anatomy? NOPE! They all wanted to know what wood wool he used and where he got it! What string he used to wrap the bodies! What wire he used! What kind of needle and thread he used! I guess they thought that using that stuff would make them into the next Frank Newmeyer.

    Joe, this is my way of trying to say THANK YOU for being there in the beginning to show the way. I still hear some of the questions that were asked of Frank, but not nearly as many as there used to be asked.YOU got us started at asking the right questons. I still have my copies of Taxidermy Review, at least most of them. Some were loaned and never returned, but that was my fault.....I tried to share the information, too. You don't get nearly enough credit for doing what you did for taxidermy, as you should. Probably because you haven't been as visible in the industry as you could have been, but there are still some of us out here who remember. Please make yourself available here, more often.
  2. I attended the first Utah show in the early 80s with Mr. Kish as the judge. As I rushed to see the score sheet and read with much anticipation it only said SEE JUDGE , I thought he must want to meet such a talented guy. After waiting for my turn we strolled up to my wonderful Pine Marten, Mr.Kish stated it looks like a sausage with legs come to my seminar this afternoon. After my ego mended I attended Mr. Kishs seminar took all the handouts on reference use ,anatomy etc and home I went. I study-ed read everything I could find. Next years show was also judged by Mr.Joe Kish...... a blue ribbon on my mount! I don't tell this to brag ,but on behalf of my self and countless other taxidermists THANK YOU JOE KISH .

  3. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

    Nice to see you in the public again.
    I met Joe in the 70's ,he judged my first piece, a mule deer, got a 3rd. I attended his seminars and read all he wrote. I'm a Joe Kish disciple. He was a man before his time. I always refer to him as the "Guru of Good Taxidermy".
    He did all the great work he did on paper mannikin's , don't forget. He knew anatomy and sculptured it in his mounts with clay, if needed.
    He pushed standards then ,something no one recognized at the time , he was a man before his time.
    Joe ,we always had the standards of nature to work from and still do today, BUT we have never had any sense of standards in the "business end of things" , and still don't. That is why as taxidermy , supply wise has advanced with the new and better mannikin's, eyes, jaw sets, paints , pastes , epoxies , and the labor intensive business end and monetary end has not advanced .
    It seems that the more taxidermy advances the more it is the same.
    Joe , this needs to be your focus for the future of all in taxidermy and for taxidermy as a respected industry.
    Good Luck