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Working in South Africa

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by AliciaG, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. AliciaG

    AliciaG Museum taxidermist and exhibit preparator

    I just returned home from 3 weeks of working in South Africa. I thought it would be fun to share some pictures of what I worked on with the good people of the Taxi-net. A friend of mine, Philipp Schulz (he's on Taxi-net occasionally) has a shop in Cape Town, and from time to time he brings me out during busy periods to help with the heavy workload in the shop (what I like to call "paycation"). During last year's visit, the purpose of the trip was to process a freezer full of rare birds for various collector clients of his. I'm not sure how many I finished, but I mounted 2-3 birds a day for just shy of a month. The purpose of this year's visit was to mount some educational display specimens for the local wildlife conservation authority, a lifesize cape leopard (morphologically different from its northern cousins, the cape leopard averages about half the weight of other leopards) and a blue crane (South Africa's bald eagle), as well as a handful of bird mounts for his clients.

    One of many test fittings (had a lot of mods to do to the form, this cat was tiny!)

    Poured the form and popping the mold

    Cape leopard

    Blue crane

    They get so many neat species out there that I of course couldn't stay out of the shop during my spare time. The most banal common species for them are exciting for a North American taxidermist. For example, the South African everyday equivalent to our whitetail, mallards, and bobcats, are impala, hornbills, and caracals. I was hitting the workahol bottle hard, just couldn't get enough!

    White-bellied go-away-bird

    Rock kestrel

    Pale-headed rosella

    During my last week in the shop, there was a fun coincidence when both my fellow lady taxidermist Allis Markham and I discovered we were working on sacred ibis on the same day, on opposite sides of the planet. We called an "ibis-off" and traded pics and notes along the way (keep and eye out for an ibis-off post from her soon...).

    I managed to get a little sight-seeing in. Here are some jackass penguins on the beach (only about 45min drive from the city!).



    Kathy, Chippers, Bucknut and 5 others like this.
  2. Museum Man

    Museum Man Well-Known Member

    great work all the way around!

  3. PA

    PA Well-Known Member

    Great work Alicia - I hope you pocketed some money after paying for the airfare. I follow your instagram so saw many of these images and others you posted. Look like you had a great stay.
  4. AliciaG

    AliciaG Museum taxidermist and exhibit preparator

    Thanks Museum Man & PA, it was a ton of fun! Airfare is covered ;)
  5. bananas!

    bananas! Member

    Wow! Thanks for posting these Alicia. Incredible work!
  6. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

    Congrats and nice work, what a experience ! Where were these opportunities when I was young and full of pi$$ and vinegar ?
  7. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Very Nice! Didn't come home with any specimens duct taped to your body did Ya?
    Glenn M likes this.
  8. magicmick

    magicmick magicmick

    LOL the Rock kestrel would be my pick DL
  9. Gustav

    Gustav New Member

  10. Gustav

    Gustav New Member

    Hi Alicia,

    I am stunned by what you have done. recently started taxidermy as a hobby and find it awesome. everyday I learn something new about his wonderful world. Having had a look at your photos I have a question because I have a Rock kestrel and a Blue Crane in the freezer which need to be mounted soon. is it a type of masking tape you use to keep the feathers in position? if not what is it and how is it used? I would rally appreciate your assistance. Best wishes, Gustav
  11. Gustav

    Gustav New Member

    I forgot to mention that I am also a Capetonian
  12. AliciaG

    AliciaG Museum taxidermist and exhibit preparator

    Hi Gustav,
    Thanks! It's always a ton of fun to work on Cape Town. Lucky you to live in a place with such amazing wildlife. I hope to get out there and do it again soon. The tape is very cheap low-tack masking tape. I don't use it much at home, but it was on hand in the shop there and I was working fast (when in Cape Town, do as the Capetonians do). I find wrapping birds in thread or yarn with a few pins here and there to be more gentle on the feathers. If you would like to chat, shoot me a PM and we can email, or post in the beginners section for feedback from all the folks here. I would be happy to help answer any questions you might have.
    magicmick likes this.
  13. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Awesome experience and great work! Thanks for sharing!
  14. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    See any of these? 04E3F150-5E14-47DE-AC80-75D0CD89955B.png
    AliciaG likes this.
  15. Amazing work Alicia. To work on some of those species would definitely be a paycation in my book too.
  16. artwildcreate

    artwildcreate Don't look at me.....

    Awesome opportunity. Your bird work is fantastic, but you did that leopard no justice..
  17. AliciaG

    AliciaG Museum taxidermist and exhibit preparator

    Thanks for the complement and feedback. I did my best with limited time and resources. You can't win 'em all.
    Glenn M likes this.
  18. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I think justice was done very well on that Rosella!

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    I think you did a very GOOD job even on the Leopard.. Pay no attention to that knucklehead........:rolleyes:
    Glenn M likes this.
  20. artwildcreate

    artwildcreate Don't look at me.....

    Knucklehead? Just goes to show what you know..