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

  1. Kerby Ross

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

    fishnart24 ....

    So why do people find you to do their fish reproductions? Maybe because they think you are a taxidermist? Maybe their definition is what really matters .....................


  2. Bryan Russell

    Bryan Russell Active Member

    Re: fishnart24 ....

    About sums it up! ;)

  3. naturalcreati40

    naturalcreati40 Active Member

    That's a good point Kerby
  4. Harum

    Harum Active Member

    A person should be careful when they agree with or use a simile. For example, Mt's blundering use of a simile didn't actually support his point of view. You see a truck and a car are both automobiles Just like many would call a skin mount and a reproduction... taxidermy. Glad you agree though Doug ;)

    The Gorilla piece also used castings of the face, hands and feet. The reproduction process. Just keeps getting confusing. Maybe if we called it all taxidermy it would be much easier to understand, but that's alright just like Scott pointed out, so long ago, languages change causing an impact on previous definitions. Maybe if the industry was a bit more recognized for what it is and not for what it was Merriam-Webster might justify the need to redefine its context. For now, I suppose, I'm content with creating my pieces by utilizing multiple aspects of the species to better achieve my goal. Axidermytay works for me.

  5. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    A person should be careful when they agree with or use a simile. For example, Mt's blundering use of a simile didn't actually support his point of view. You see a truck and a car are both automobiles Just like many would call a skin mount and a reproduction... taxidermy. Glad you agree though Doug LOL!!

    Sheesh...now we have to discuss the definition of automobile!! LOL!!

    This discussion has been fun for me. I hope it's been fun for everyone else.

    I enjoy having friendly debates. Being challenged in things I believe to be true either reinforces that belief or changes my mind.

    One thing is certain for me, I greatly admire all the work being done in our "industry" today, just as I admire those who continually try to improve and

    I hope nothing I said would lead anyone to doubt that.

    I'm at the end of my career and as I once said in another thread, I believe the future of this pursuit is in very good hands with those younger and more ambitious than me.

    I consider myself to be very fortunate to have had a long and enjoyable full time career in taxidermy while providing for and raising my family.

    Good Luck to all in whatever choices you make in creating your art!

  6. Perca

    Perca Well-Known Member

    If you did you would but you don't so you won't. Opinions based on incorrect facts are correspondingly invalid. Discretion should prevent permissible persaflage between colleagues from deteriorating into a discourteous dialog. Obstinacy stifles acceptance. Just sayin'. [​IMG]
  7. hambone

    hambone Well-Known Member

    Yes but it is the fate of the indolent man to have his rights preyed upon by the active. ;)
  8. naturalcreati40

    naturalcreati40 Active Member

    I can't respond to the last two posts cause I have no idea what was said hahaha
  9. Pescado

    Pescado Biggest in 2011

    Fresh out of a couple months in the wilderness of Ontario. Have not read all 13 pages, but do get the basic debate here. For what it's worth, I will give a quick response.

    A person buys a replica, assembles it and paints it...Not taxidermy in any way. A person takes a fish and makes a mold and produces a replica from this mold, this is taxidermy.
  10. fishmaster

    fishmaster Well-Known Member

    I agree with Paul on this one. If you make the mold yourself it changes everything because you are no longer a model assembler. There is a completely different skill set to get to the same results.
    Fish replicas and replica parts on birds, fish and animals were born because of the desire to make a better finished "taxidermy" result. Commercial fish replicas began primarily because of the size of many salt water fish and also because many species do not lend themselves to a quality mount because of scale loss, oil, size, etc. It's not to say that they can't be conventionally mounted but because the results will be less than spectacular and certainly won't survive the test of time.
    I have been doing this almost as long as DougP and we've both seen the transition over the years. We both skined out trout heads removing all the bone structure inside and fleshing the layer of fat between the skin and skull. Then had to completely rebuild the outside shape with epoxy to make it look like a lake trout or, rbt etc. A friend in upstate New York showed me how he molded trout heads and made casts. That was in 1982 and was cutting edge technology.
    Today every bird taxidermist that competes is using cast bills and often cast feet. Mammal guys are casting teeth, tongues and noses. So, since it's also being done in areas other than fish, are those guys not taxidermists either? If the test to call yourself a taxidermist is whether "moving skin" has taken place then the term is still valid to someone who makes their own fish replicas. You move and arrange the heck out of things to get good symetry in the finished fish. I don't have to take it off the carcass but certainly have seperated it from the carcass in order to fill shrunken areas on fish that have been in the freezer too long. Splitting hairs her but by gosh I moved some skin around!
    In one of my "I hate it when that happens" stories published in Breakthrough over the years I coined a term. "Ichthyological Preservationist" It was done in jest to keep from telling a girl at a party that he was a taxidermist. Anyway, the term fits. Thats what I'm going by for the next 30yrs so there is no confusion.
  11. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    OK....as much as I respect you guys.....and I do, very much. I still humbly disagree. ;D ;D ;D 8)

    Don, you mention the transition over the years and I agree with that. However, the original question as posed is still the subject of dispute.

    Original question was, paraphrased..... what do you call someone who only does replicas?

    That question does NOT include any reference to replica "parts" in the performance of mounting a fish.

    I would submit that it is very possible for a person to be skilled at mold making and replication of a fish [or fish parts] and have no clue on how to skin, flesh, preserve and mount a fish.
    That ability, to skin mount a fish, is THE defining factor in being a "taxidermist". If a person doesn't have that ability then I maintain he cannot be a taxidermist.

    For the record, I still hold that anyone who does ONLY replicas is NOT a taxidermist. ;D ;D

    BTW Don, I remember that column on "Ichthyological Preservationist". I've used that term a few times....I hope you don't mind... ;) ;) :)
  12. Timjo

    Timjo Active Member

    I understand what you are saying Don and I have pondered this definition of taxidermy verses replicating since it took over this post. For me, it all boils down to what we are trying to define, the END PRODUCT, the mounted fish you give to your customer or enter in a competition..

    What is it?

    If it's a fish with any of the skin attached, it is taxidermy according to the definition in the dictionary and in which my state laws agree. Plain and simple. If the end product has no ORGANIC skin on it, it is no longer taxidermy. The product made from a mold is a replica, reproduction, copy or whatever you want to call it. Just don't call it taxidermy. The "process" of molding the dead fish is called "working my butt off" or mold making if you prefer.

    It's important that we all be clear on this and call it for what it is. Debating this over and over and expecting different results is...................................................well, you know.
  13. fishmaster

    fishmaster Well-Known Member

    My mistake in taking this conversation off track. I somehow missed the original question of what you call someone who only does replicas. I agree it should not be taxidermist.....I'm think the term...." Bondonator" might be appropriate. Or, an Ichthyological Bondonator. The last one covers all the bases.
  14. Timjo

    Timjo Active Member

    Sorry doug, I only do replicas but I'm still a taxidermist because I am capable of doing taxidermy. :eek: ;)
  15. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    lol Here's a fun question since those who think that buying a blank and painting it is taxidermy so then if a ceramic maker who make fish blanks out of clay and paints it are they a taxidermist or a person who does ceramics for a living? In the end they are artists as I am when I buy one and a taxidermist if I have to make a mold of one lol.
  16. Kerby Ross

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

    Like I said on page 12 ..............

    For me if I mold a fish, and make a cast of that fish, and paint that cast, then that is taxidermy.

    For me if I buy a fish blank made by someone else and paint it, then that is not taxidermy.

    And AZ G&F agrees with this as well.


  17. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    Don....you didn't take the conversation off track . It went off a long time ago.
    I just wanted to bring it back to the orig. question. :)

    "Sorry doug,I only do replicas but I'm still a taxidermist because I am capable of doing taxidermy.

    Tim...you're capable off a LOT more than doing taxidermy....only do replicas......HAH! Some very creative pieces of the highest quality!!

    Kerby...Frank brought up the concept of ceramics.

    So, if I take a fresh fish and make a mold of that fish and then make a cast from that mold using clay which is fired in a kiln and then I paint and glaze that [what is now] ceramic fish......then I'm a taxidermist doing taxidermy????

    Something is not right here guys......... :eek: ::)
  18. fishmaster

    fishmaster Well-Known Member

    No Doug, that makes you and ichthylogical cermacist.
  19. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    OK....now I are one..... :eek: ::)

    Attached Files:

  20. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

    Taxidermist - A person whose job is taxidermy (Cambridge Dictionary)
    Taxidermist - A person who practices taxidermy (Oxford Dictionary)

    In these two English definitions, one permits a hobbyist the term, the other does not. (no wonder they are fierce rivals). Neither grants the definition based on capability.