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Associations. Knock, knock... Anybody home?

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Joe Kish, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. catman

    catman Active Member

    I think that Kent Reedy's woodduck was real. When you say that a piece is not real (George) you miss one of the, if not the greatest, treasure that competitions give us. That is taking a piece above and beyond what we do everyday. That is the point of competing for many. It is very real to the artist. It is growing. Just like spending months in the studio to make an awesome album, milking a song for every last drop, makes the live performance better. Does the night after night live show match the sound quality of the album? Heavens no, but it does not make the recording any less real. It seems like that point is missed.
  2. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    Thank you cat master, what he said. ^^^^^^^

  3. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Phil, unknowingly you seem to have made my point even better. A competition was intended to improve the quality of ALL of our work. The saddest point of all this is that the competition has become a self-aggrandizing effort. We allow ourselves so set in our little group admiring each other instead of passing along to those who need it the most. We all know that our ordinary clients do not get the attention of the effort of competition work though they literally pay our way. If competitions were such a grand and glorious thing, then there would be certain people that we all recognize would be participating. Why don't you ask one of those people why they no longer participate. I'm sure their opinions might enlighten some of you looking through rose colored lenses.
  4. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    Maybe for the same reason so many singer/songwriters no longer record.

    George, I think the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, and at the same time is different for everyone. Are there competitors at shows for the reasons you described? I suppose there could be. I figure we can only honestly speak to our own reasoning for attending and competing. As a member of 4 state associations, and an occasional judge, I attend quite a few shows each year. The vast majority of competitors do improve the quality of their work by attending, and "those who need it most" are in the showroom getting instruction and encouragement from their peers, as well as judges. Perhaps you should take Brian up on his offer...because it sounds like state shows here in the midwest are far different from those on the east coast.
  5. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Cole I'm sure they are and I thank God every day for middle America. You haven't been jaded or tainted by the goatrope they try to push off as "civilization" over on the edges.
  6. Skywalker

    Skywalker Well-Known Member

    One can lose the competition bug for one reason or another. Doing well in competitions has benefited me well, but i realize it can't be that way for everyone. But if you become a better skilled taxidermist as a result then that has to be one of the greatest benefits. Even if ones clients don't get the full compo quality mount, you're still going to do improved commercial work. At least it worked that way for myself. I really hope associations can evolve to stay relevant and interesting for the benefit of our industry. We need to be united.
  7. Cory

    Cory Keep an eye on quality!

    "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink"

    "You can invite a taxidermist to a competition, but you can't make him come"

    "You can judge a taxidermist at a convention, but you can't make him want to go home and do better"

    Competitions are there for those that want to get better. Competitions are there for those that want to win. Competitions are there for those that want to see what the best in the industry have to offer. In case no one has noticed, no matter the quality of work the taxidermist does, his/her own customers believe they are the best! That last statement may very well be the reason guys never come and compete. Then they would have to answer a ton of questions on why they didn't do better. "We're all great in our dreams".
  8. John Janelli

    John Janelli New Member

    It was never the job of any association to make the proverbial horse drink...all they need to do is to make the "horse" thirsty.
  9. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Active Member

    Commercial taxidermists, the good ones with lots of satisfied customers are justly proud of their work and their reputations because their repeat business with high satisfaction rates from customers reinforces their belief that they are doing things right, even superior. There isn’t a lot of incentive to take their work to a higher level because all circumstances considered, they’re already at the top of their game. To some it might even be inconceivable that there might be a higher level or if there is, no need to go there. In further testament to their (often justified) belief in their own prowess is the fact that their work keeps winning top awards in competitions. That’s a very strong testament from their peers that their work/skills are good, which more often than not, is true.

    When a man is confident in his work and maintaining a high shop standard, when he has a wall full of awards to testify to it, it’s not easy to conceive that it’s possible that it could be done any better, particularly presented any better. He just may not see how when he’s already doing the best he knows and has satisfied customers and awards to prove it.

    But accomplished male taxidermists sometimes have egos that make them a mite touchy and not open to suggestions which aren’t even meant as criticism, especially unsolicited suggestions. I had a touch of that in my early commercial days after working at Jonas Bros. and Lloyd Woodbury’s shop in the early ‘70s. One visit to Jack Putnam’s studio at the Denver Museum for a job interview cured me of a swelled head in no time at all.

    There’s sometimes a real fear that the opinionator might have a valid point which can disturb a man’s ego. Female taxidermists generally take a constructive suggestion, apply it by the next day and turn and smile at you without saying a word.
  10. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    For lack of a better term...that's a load of crap. I've met dozens and dozens of competitors that have been successful at the highest levels of competition, and to a man they ALL know their work could be better. They ALL have been open to opinions and critiques. They ALL agree any one of them can be beaten on any day by someone that does it better, and presents it better. You sound like someone that is out of touch with today's industry.
  11. Brian Reinertson

    Brian Reinertson Well-Known Member

    Mr. Kish, you are so wise. Thank you sir.
  12. Brian Reinertson

    Brian Reinertson Well-Known Member

    By the way my good sir, it is almost 2017.
  13. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    While painting with those broad brushstrokes, you might be very surprised to know what many of us REALLY are thinking, feeling or doing. I can tell by your painting, that you dont know. But perhaps you will challenge some into showing you. No harm in that.
  14. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    I was a contract fleet mechanic and fleet supervisor for Ma Bell for 28 years. I hired, trained and fired a lot of men over the years. The one statement that I could not stand coming from an employee or perspective employee was, " I can't work any faster or better(quality) than I'm already doing". If that person was applying for a job his application went in the trash. To prove my point I would move a mechanics tool box right next to the truck he was working on. Fewer steps means more production. That applys in any line of work. Some get it and some don't.
    My thought is I can Always learn to do a job faster and better(quality). If I do not believe that in this line of work I wouldn't bother going to a show/competition.
    I was at a very well known master taxidermists doing training years ago and he asked students how they did certain tasks. He said there's always things to learn from others that save time. I liked hearing a Master Taxidermist say that.
  15. antlerman

    antlerman NTA Life Member #0118

    While dining at a restaurant, you order the special of the day. On the plate is some mashed potatoes. Do you automatically grab the salt shaker and start adding salt, or do you taste first and go from there? I would never hire a man who salts without first sampling to test the taste against his palate. He has not an open mind. He is already programmed to certain behaviors. As in: Well, I've always done it that way. His habits will be hard to change.
  16. John Janelli

    John Janelli New Member

    Gee Tim, that's an awful lot of judgement to pass on a person who likes salt on their specials and spuds, don't you think? Changing habits for the better is one thing. No doubt lowering one's sodium intake would certainly help for a healthier life style. Just what kind of a job is it that you'd keep from hiring a fellow simply because you don't agree on his salting with out tasting? There was a dear friend I used to work with in Jonas Bros., NY by the name of Bruce Madlem. One of his coveralls could be used for a sleeping bag on a double date. His thumbs reminded me of elk pedicles without the antlers. Yet he could sculpt, model and seemingly blow life into any kind of a tanned skin known to man. He used salt on all his food like we threw rice at the last Italian wedding we went to. My point is, don't be so quick to judge an open mind or a closed heart for that matter, merely by what you think or don't think of certain behavior patterns in people. Trust me, there are more serious issues to place judgement on these days in organized taxidermy.
  17. RichMO

    RichMO Active Member

    X2 John....
  18. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    Do I have to be the one to say, guys, its simply an analogy?
  19. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    COME ON, BILL. They're TAXIDERMISTS. You need to say it. ;) :D :D :D ;D
  20. antlerman

    antlerman NTA Life Member #0118

    Happy Birthday John, and to you as well repete.