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Mounting Eyes For Effect

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by slabbandit, Dec 18, 2019.

  1. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    I'm looking for good reference pics for positioning of eyes on my crappie mounts. I feel like I could improve my mounts by better positioning of the eyes. I do know that the position of the mount has a lot to do with the tilt and rotation of the eyes.
    Most crappie I mount average about 16" and I almost always use a 16mm Flex eye. It gives me a little trouble getting the eye in the socket when mounting. I like to put them in then while the mache is still wet. But I will pull them out and adjust if I want. I'm also thinking about trying a 14mm eye to see what it looks like.
    Most of the time I like to mount crappie in an upward feeding attitude. Right now I position the pupil in the center of the eye socket but have seen several mounts where the pupil is down close to the bottom of the eye socket. I believe Perca does this on his crappie mounts and it looks really good.
     
  2. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

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    Something to try
    Mold your eye with epoxy as a sphere
    And hollow out the same in your mount and rotate the eye to your liking
     

  3. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    Sounds interesting. Going to try something tomorrow.
     
  4. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Normally I'd say to not reference from other taxidermists. But, in this case I'm going to recommend one of the best skin mount folks - especially when it comes to artistic presentation and eye positioning. (And he uses Flex Eyes.) Take a look at some of DougP's fish photos and you'll see perfect eye placement, expression and tilting in every single one of his mounts. I especially love when he almost buries the pupil!
     
  5. whitetails and fish only

    whitetails and fish only Well-Known Member

    That is exactly the method I have been thinking of trying on my next fish. Thank you for verifying that this will work.
     
    FishArt likes this.
  6. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    I just fill the eye hole with Apoxie Sculpt about 3/4's full then shove the eye in and rotate to get that socket mentioned above and then make sure my eye is pointing in the proper direction and I like the eye-tilt. I think FlexEyes directions have you putting them in when you're mounting the fish. Never tried it nor will I!
     
  7. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    I do similar to fishart except I set em with clay and then after the clay sets up some I use apoxie sculpt to finish around the eye. I have never set em when mounting either and don't plan on it.
     
    FishArt likes this.
  8. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    Hey Marty! I too am a fan of Doug P's crappie mounts and the way he buries the pupils on his mounts. Presently, I fill the cheeks and eye sockets with mache and push the Flex Eyes in during mounting. I won't hesitate to pop the eyes out later and scrape out some mache if I'm not happy with the eye positioning.
     
    FishArt and Cecil like this.
  9. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    As sad as it sounds, you likely have clients who don't want to see you use an artistic license. Many of the guys here are extremely talented and can make dead fish look alive. I've watched Tom Sexton do some things with a bass that left my mouth agape and I've seen Rick Krane do things to cold water fish I thought were impossible. Still, remember your client before you rotate an eye on anything. These are the same people who think all deer noses are black, but they pay your bills. Make sure you ask the client before you try it with a commercial fish.
     
    antlermike likes this.
  10. whitetails and fish only

    whitetails and fish only Well-Known Member

    I think in most cases they just want their fish to look bigger then the one they brought in. As long as it has eyes they really don't care how they are rotated. There are exceptions and we as taxidermists should always strive to be better.
     
    Cecil and FishArt like this.
  11. slabbandit

    slabbandit Active Member

    Yea, I'm my own worst critic. I do make my mounts as large as I can and still get the fins to set right. Even when the next size down form would probably fit better.
     
  12. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    George, I don't agree with this. The ONLY time I think a customer may complain is if an eye set is done really badly. Side note - funny thing is no customer of mine nor Doug's has ever complained about their Flex Eyes either and so many fish taxis poo-poo Flex eyes! Fact of the matter is they are plenty good for commercial work and the fact that I can trim them makes things more correct in the size aspect vs all the other eyes that you cannot trim.

    But, back on topic (lol). Many thousands of fish between Doug and I and a combined 75-80 years doing fish and I don't recall a single customer ever even requesting an eye "expression" before mounting let alone complaining after the fact. We have full creative flexibility in our eye sets and not a single complaint in all these years.
     
  13. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    You've been blessed with top shelf customers. Some of us have lived with the bottom feeders who look for any reason to claim they're being "overcharged". Fish guys likely have it easier but anyone who does deer will tell you how much grief that can bring.
     
    Cecil and FishArt like this.
  14. Lexsper

    Lexsper New Member

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    How do you mould epoxy into a sphere? Thanks.
     
  15. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Take equal parts of Epoxy and swallow each. Then check your poop in the morning - ha! Sorry, couldn't resist - ha! Jeepers haven't you ever played with clay when you were a kid??? After mixing, roll it between the palms of your hands until you have a sphere. Or, if you're feeling extra bold you can use one hand and roll it around under your hand on a table (or flat surface of some sorts) until it looks "round". I prefer my hands so as to not have to wipe down the table - ha!
     
  16. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

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    Now that was funny Marty
     
    FishArt likes this.
  17. Lexsper

    Lexsper New Member

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    Many thanks for your detailed explanation. I prefer the first method as guaranteed to add a Touch more interest to the process. I may need to buy some silicone gloves. I didn't play with clay as a child as we were too poor, but my brother and I did used to swap poop to make models of horse and carts. You must also realise that inhabitants of a small island called the Uk are still living in the dark ages and I didn't realise you meant epoxy putty. I had heard of epoxy glue and that is why I asked the question as I know some people, especially in wood carving, do use glue in the process of making eyes.
     
    FishArt likes this.
  18. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    LOL - touche' Ha! Sorry - couldn't resist, just messin' with ya! ;)
     
    Lexsper likes this.
  19. Lexsper

    Lexsper New Member

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    Please don't apologise. Love the banter. All harmless fun. To be honest I am a wood carver of birds and other wildlife and as a spin off also make walking sticks. I have just started to carve fish heads for walking sticks having been asked by a huge fishing tackle store. I do loads of research for anatomy and taxidermy is a great place to start and has got me interested. I have used taxidermy of a northern pike walking stick head for reference and this is what led me to this forum. I have also been asked by owner of fishing store to carve some fish for the shop. Carp are very big around here and pike. I love to have a go at anything and now as retired have the time. Taxidermy is a true art and you really need to know everything about anatomy to create the masterpieces that you do. And how on earth you get a dead fish to look so alive intrigues me. Carry on with the banter- please!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2019
    JHardman, 3bears and FishArt like this.