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Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Carolin Brak-Dolny, Nov 22, 2016.
Thanks. I have heard it, just didn't know that it had that origin.
like most JW Elwood, then Sam Touchstone...then the Breakthrough Manuals....I started will a local Den Strong, who only would let me skin specimens, stuff squirrels and and ebay like fish, I had enough and left.
Far to many to name but all, except one, are either Texas Taxidermy Association members or Judges whom have critiqued my work at competitions..
I learned the most from a guy that worked in Joe meders shop for 6 years. When I took joes class I met him and we stayed in touch. Now a lifelong friend. A master at every facet of the art.
Wow.... this is hard to follow and I thought I was becoming a professional student... Started out about 35 years ago with a teacher at a Jr. college. Problem is here I learned just enough to be dangerous and no sense of anatomy. So after a couple of years and the business growing I had to make a decision... engineering vs taxidermy. Needless to say engineering won out. Now retired I have gone to the following classes: Joe Meder, Bill Yox (Yoxathon), Steve Klee, Vince Flemming (at Cindy Cunninghams Studio), Jerry Frolich, Kent Reedy, Jimmy Lawrence and most recently Randy Terry. If I had to say anything is you learn something from all. Do I plan on more classes you bet... Looking at another class with Randy Terry, and Jimmy Lawrence. Would really like to go to Rick Krane's but this may be just a little cost prohibited. Rick Carter is on my list just not sure about the timing. My son ask why and I tell him school is never really out.... we just take breaks (some longer than others). I can say one thing for all those that I have been with and that is I have never been afraid of calling them and asking for help (and lord knows I need all I can get...LOL). One other thing is I have never been with either of the two Rick's but they have always helped me with issues and I thank them for this....
My taxidermy progression is similar to most of you. Started out with a book from the library, and then a high school buddy and I shared a JW elwood course. I have learned a ton from state conventions, UTA conventions, NTA conventions, the World show in 2007, and last but not least from all off the great people that I have been blessed to meet and share with at all the above venues, not to mention all the great info that can be gleaned from this site.
All that being said I learned the most from my Parents. They taught me the most important skills that I use every day.
Treat people like you want to be treated. Do the best job you can, be honest with your customers. Don't make promises that you can't keep. If you screw up, say your sorry and mean it. My Father started out as a farmer and was in the excavation business for 40 years. He always did good work for a fair price, and didn't cut corners. He was very persuasive when it came to his way or the wrong way. Don't sacrifice quality or your principals or take advantage of people to make a buck. There are many other lessons I learned from them that I think should be passed on to the entitlement generation. These include, hard work, perseverance, compassion,and generosity, among others.
My children really don't give a crap about taxidermy, but I can damn sure tell you that what ever they do in life they will have learned these same lessons from me.
I would have to say that one probably learns the most with whom one spends the most time. In my case that would be my buddy Yox. But as I think about this deeper I come to realize that we are all an extension of each other. Like a road map we are all intersected in one way or another. Pick a spot on the map. No matter where you are coming from or where you are going there is a way to get there, and anywhere else you want to go, a way exists, which tells me that we all have learned from each other either directly or indirectly. Since I could never truly single out any one person wholeheartedly,
I have to say the industry as a whole. The industry has been good to me. There is not a single element that I would wish to remove. I think our family exists because we all have something we can offer each other. Without each other, taxidermy would not have the life blood that it currently enjoys. That life blood is what keeps us motivated, inspired, and connected. Fulfillment comes from the connection we have with one another.
You learn from everybody you have the privilege to work with, providing you're open to learning. The basics I learned were through an informal apprenticeship with an Edmonton Taxidermist named Clarence Kriaski. He taught me his version of Mammal carving after learning himself from an article in Taxidermy Review written by non other than Harry Paulson. Working in a number of high volume commercial entities helped me develop "the hand" through repetitive projects. But I really refined my techniques working with Brian Dobson, and with Mike Boyce and the great artisans at Animal Artistry. But working with reference, both physical and behavioural, is the final key to getting to that top tier if that is what one wishes.
nature is the best teacher, agreed
Yes Brian Dobson is a talented fellow... and I think he told me he learned from Joe Meder.
It is so nice to see how many people replied to this post and acknowledged our teachers! We never stop learning but we had to start somewhere. Thank-you
I'll chime in on this one, I'd have to say pretty much everyone that is or has been a constant contributor to this site have been those who I've learned the most from, if they didn't teach me what to do they taught me what not to do. I had training and learned plenty from some talented folks but that was years ago now and I seem to learn new stuff or new ways of doing the same stuff from folks here. It is appreciated, but it seems that many are reverting to the old closed doors policy and have stopped contributing here. it is a shame, in my eyes., but I also understand that they didn't come by the knowledge for free and are reluctant to pass it on for free.
Listing everyone I've learned from would be an impossible task, as the answer is almost everyone I've met in the industry has taught me something. This site, and taxidermy shows have been a great vehicle for meeting those people. Without question however, the single person who taught me more than anyone else in the industry would be my father. He was the one that taught me all of the skills that are the basis for everything else I have learned. Since learning from him, and taking over his business in 2000, I've spent the last 16 years expanding on what he taught me.
Early on I was always on the prowl for as much good advice as I could get, no matter where it came from. I was fortunate to work alongside of some phenomenal artists as well. Gene Smith, Wayne Dixon, Scott Harlow, Mike Noonkester and Sallie Dahmes. We always brainstormed and told each other the truth no matter how bad hearing it may be. Every judge pointed out better options and possibilities. Larry Blomquist, Joe Kish, Dennis Smith, and Cary Cochran had a lot of influence. Joe Meder and Joe Coombs both gave seminars that coaxed me into abandoning traditional techniques and moving on to capture the true likeness and expression of animals. Don Stevens made me realize the importance of curb appeal and that no matter how much time you spent on something that you sometimes needed to scrap it and start over. Frazier Craig taught me to never be in love with my own art. I was also fortunate to be around Ken Edwards. Ken taught me how to be patient and to visualize things compositionally for magazines. He also made me realize that silence is golden... and never had to say a word. My wife Nickie gave me confidence and pushed me to my highest levels of artistry. There are many mentors and fabulous artists throughout the history of the world but it is entirely up to you to apply the knowledge to a level that you can use. Natural reference is your roadmap. You can't go anywhere if you don't know where you're going.
Damn George I had to laugh! My guy was Fred Horth in 1969. Pretty much the carbon copy as yours, and threw in the crap work of skinning and fleshing. I vowed I'd never be that way and haven't looked back!
My father didn't do taxidermy, but he and my mother have been there along the way encouraging me all the time.
Troy Rose. There are a lot of people who do one species really well but I have yet to come across anyone that can match his ability across the board. Being a student of his I can also say having the ability to teach what he is able to do is astounding.
Rick Krane, hands down!!