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First attempt

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by chromepursuit, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. chromepursuit

    chromepursuit New Member

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    After many years of wanting to try taxidermy I finally spent the money on the supplies and decided to give it a go. So I did a fair amount of reading on the forum here and was overwhelmed with info as well as amazed by the down right artwork on many of the specimens. I decided to go with a steelhead for my first mount seeing as they are one of my top fish to catch. I didn't want to start out with a skin mount tho mainly because I didn't want to destroy a trophy fish in order "give it a whirl". So I order a replica and got to work. I set the fins and soon found out I really needed to work on blending the apoxie sculpt. After that I set the eyes the best I could. I then antiqued the fish. I had purchased a paint schedule to help me do the fish but shortly into it I could already tell I wasn't going to like the outcome using the schedule. So out the door it went. I began thumbing thru hundreds of picture I had taken of steelhead and soon had the paints set aside I thought suited the fish best. Before long I started to see the mount really "pop" and come to life. I was more than pleased with how the painting turned out. Though not even close to the art people on here put out, I was more than happy with the outcome. Any tips on how to improve please feel free to let me know. http://i1118.photobucket.com/albums/k618/jswille1/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zpse5ac1491.jpg
     
  2. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

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    First off . Replicas are not taxidermy
    They are however a good start. You were right about throwing the paint schedule out! The fish doesn't look bad but the fins look very dark. The pectoral fins look like they are in the wrong position. The tail and tail juncture looks more like a salmon. Great job though for a first!
     

  3. naturalcreati40

    naturalcreati40 Active Member

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    Just curious what you classify someone who does repro work only? Just a fish artist maybe?
     
  4. Bryan Russell

    Bryan Russell Active Member

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    I think so. Or fish replica artist, or maybe fish trophy artist.................. 8)
     
  5. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    I agree with M.T. and Bryan. I'd consider someone a model maker, mold maker if working with the original specimen from scratch to produce a reproduction. If only doing assembly and or painting a cast replica then possibly an artist. I just don't believe replica work is taxidermy even though it may be included under the definition of "taxidermy" as a complimentary art. ;D

    chromepursuit.....without having a reference photo showing colors that you were trying to imitate it's hard to give advice. As you know steelhead go through a very drastic change in the life cycle. Best advice ever given is to study a reference photo thoroughly and then more so!! Try replicating what you see after breaking down the color "layers" on the skin of the fish.... ;)
     
  6. Totally agree with M.T and DougP, glad I'm not the only one that thinks that way. ;)
     
  7. Steven Klee

    Steven Klee Steven Klee Studios

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  8. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

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    Taxidermy - the skill, activity, or job of preparing, stuffing, and mounting the skins of dead animals so that they look like they did when they were alive. MW.

    So, strictly by definition, sure. Consider, however, that molding and casting weren't developed as they are today or else that definition would likely be different. If you are taking a dead animal and making as close to an exact resemblance as possible using the specimen, thats the spirit. In many instances, a replica or replica part exceeds what can be accomplished with skin only taxidermy, so its actually superior to taxidermy in those instances in doing what taxidermy sets out to accomplish.

    Art is an entirely different monster......and lots of "taxidermy" wouldn't make the cut as art.

    Best, Scott
     
  9. naturalcreati40

    naturalcreati40 Active Member

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    Very interesting view 1fish2fish, thanks for posting it
     
  10. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    Scott, I agree with most of your points, but I do differ on your thought that the taxidermy definition would likely be different if molding and casting were "more developed". I would submit that the "spirit" of taxidermy, as you say, is not to make an "exact resemblance" of the specimen using inert materials. Taxidermy is the preservation of the specimen itself in the most lifelike manner as possible. IMHO ;D

    Not meaning to hijack chromepursuits thread.....This was discussed in the past and was very interesting to get all views, even though I think some feathers were ruffled. ;)

    Maybe we should start a new topic on this, eh?
     
  11. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

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    I would say freeze drying or pickling comes closer. Ironically, as there isn't any stuffing.....what do you call freeze drying? Is it not taxidermy? Maybe its the word that is wrong or lacking, not the definition. Perhaps there should be a new term to define "the industry" as a whole as it exists today.

    chromepursuit, check this out: http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,100911.0.html
     

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  12. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    Hmmm.....I should have said the skin of the specimen itself. I would call "freeze drying" freeze dry taxidermy. Do we not use the skin and more of the specimen being preserved. I don't think we need a new term to define the industry. We already heve terms that define the different approaches within the "industry" very well.

    Would a person making molds of BF prints or dino bones also be known as a taxidermist?
     
  13. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

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    Pickling uses the skin, and maintains the organs to boot? Is it pickling-taxidermy then?

    In the case of alleged Big Foot prints and Dino bones, Neither makes a dead animal look like it did when it was alive, so no, it doesn't maintain the end state of taxidermy.
     
  14. dougp

    dougp Active Member

     
  15. Brian W

    Brian W Active Member

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    Taxidermy???...... ;D
     

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  16. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    ;D ;D...could be! ;)
     
  17. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

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  18. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

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    What about a skull mount? Taxidermy, not by definition.
     
  19. Steven Klee

    Steven Klee Steven Klee Studios

    Taxi: to move over the surface of the earth, or in this case, object.
    Dermy: dermis or "skin".

    Reproductions do not involve or contain either of these properties either before or after the procedure.

    Best, Steve
     
  20. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

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    Derived from and defined as are two different things. The Latin doesn't do it for me. In the old days most fish were filled, not moved over forms as today. They did involve skin.

    Molding a fish most definately can involve moving skin. It just isn't part of the end product.