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Competition Questions ...

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Crowkiller, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. Crowkiller

    Crowkiller Member

    105
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    Ohio
    What is your "Creative" process to do a competition piece? How do you choose the specimen? Do you have a particular image in mind & then search for the animal(s), or do you design your mount around an animal you already have ? Do you play it safe with a simple pose,or go big and go for the spectacular ?
     
  2. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

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    I don't create a piece before I mount, don't do sketches, mini sculptures or anything. Just a picture in my mind and dive into it. I use a perfect specimen so I don't have to worry about repairs. Its hard enough for me to get it right without having to mess with a bad cape. I have a tendency to play it safe and go for extreme anatomical accuracy, keeping the overall piece simple and not overdone including habitat and presentation.
     

  3. I agree with Jerry. When starting a piece I have a general idea of what I want to accomplish. It helps when I find a cool picture or two to get me started. After my piece is started it seems to take on a life of its own. many times I have to stand back and remember the KIS rule, keep it simple.
     
  4. Crowkiller

    Crowkiller Member

    105
    0
    Ohio
    How far in advance do you start ? I know how hard it is to find "perfect" specimens,is there times when there is a up coming show and you just grab the best of what you have in the freezer and go from there ?
     
  5. I have only been to the Texas show. All three pieces I entered were customer mounts that I finished the week of the show.


    Sent from my iPhone using Ohub Campfire
     
  6. juli

    juli Active Member

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    I have never entered a competition, but a saying comes to mind.

    It is better to do something simple and do it well, than to take on something too big and do it poorly.

    we don't have competitions in AK.. Maybe someday I will make it to one outside. (lower 48) :)
     
  7. I like to do a mini sculpture first. If you are new to comp. Keep it simple. Once you are seasoned go for all the marbles. WOW the crowd. Every judge at a show has a short list and you need to be on it.
     
  8. Crowkiller

    Crowkiller Member

    105
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    Ohio
    Short list ?
     
  9. Amy

    Amy Mammal artist

    A short list of mounts that will make top spots. Although closer inspection can reveal things that can make or break a mount, in general it is pretty obvious to tell through a scan of the competition room, which few mounts are the cream of the crop.
     
  10. Crowkiller

    Crowkiller Member

    105
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    Ohio
    Visual Impact -Thanks Amy
     
  11. B.S.O'Hare

    B.S.O'Hare Member

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    That is part of it crow, but not all of it. There are a lot of mounts at shows that are cool looking, but the mechanics hold them back. The judges have a good idea at only a glance if a mount is mechanically sound. To do really well it has to have both.
     
  12. Amy

    Amy Mammal artist

    Indeed, visual impact is a good thing and if your mount can have that impact AND be a good solid mount in all other areas - then you are in the running for a top spot. But a mount doesn't always have to be over the top to win. Ken Walker proved this with his Masters of Masters win, with a simple, sitting, closed mouth coyote. Likewise, there are all too many mounts that may have a "wow" factor from afar but up close, reveal some serious problems. One has to be careful not to get carried away with the overall presentation and end up missing other important points of the mount. I have done that before.
     
  13. Rick Carter

    Rick Carter Administrator

    It depends on the level of the competition. The higher you go, the more preparation and perfection become necessary. Elaborate pieces may require some serious pre- engineering, including welding, assembly, or writing down the order in which events must occur. I usually sculpt miniature models (maquette) to study balance and aesthetics. I NEVER mount anything (even commercially) without first deciding on a habitat. The mount should adapt to the earth. Taxidermists often get this one backwards. That's why you see oddball things that are obviously stuck on as an afterthought. The mount as well as the presentation should be top notch.
     
  14. Crowkiller

    Crowkiller Member

    105
    0
    Ohio
    Thanks everyone this is all very insightful.And Congratulations Amy!
     
  15. TIMBUCK

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    I am usually just working on day to day stuff and have a "vision". Once I have that "vision" in my head I get possessed by it and it starts to get fun. Sometimes I can pull it off and sometimes I drive myself crazy trying. I have to have that vision first though. I didnt have one last year at all.

    Thats about it for me. Nothing fancy.......
     
  16. juli

    juli Active Member

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    I agree..I always try to design the base and habitat first.
     
  17. Paul B

    Paul B Active Member

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    Back in late 2004, my wife found a cool picture of an African Lion laying down with a cub on its back, both looking intently at something. I thought that would be a cool mount, but with mountain lions, since I already had a mature lion skin. Found a kitten somewhere and had the idea set in my head to get this done for the 05 world show. Had the vision, all the pieces ready, forms, alterations done. Well, never got it done in time and good thing. Jason Snowburger had the mount right at the open doors of the Worlds like it was taken right out of my brain, only his vision and application was much better. LOL
     
  18. Amy

    Amy Mammal artist

    Paul the exact thing has happened to me. I had this amazingly original (or atleast I thought) idea of a bobcat dangling from a limb, claws out - like it just slipped over the edge. Then I saw a fantastic mount by Daniel Meng done exactly the way Id imagined. I'll be darned. Now I don't want to do it. LOL
     
  19. Rick Carter

    Rick Carter Administrator

    I wonder sometimes if anyone EVER really has an "original" idea. Usually there are many versions of the same thoughts going on, either at or around the same time. Sometimes ideas develop long before the technology or ability exists to make it happen. The only thing that matters is who gets there first!
     
  20. juli

    juli Active Member

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    I agree... LOL! :)

    About the time I was looking for a pine marten, Amy was putting one together.. Unbeknownst to both of us, we had a very similar mount idea.
    I also tossed the idea to a customer with a wolverine to put a sheep head on a backpack and have the wolverine 'claiming' the kill. Then I found a photo of one done by Bryce (I think).