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Are Taxidermists Mad Or Simply Bi-polar?

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by George, Aug 29, 2023.

  1. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    About 25 years ago, my friend Richard Christoforo sent me this article from a long ago publications. Every taxidermist I've ever met shows these tendencies. Simultaneously they vociferously deny it applies to them. You probably will to.

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  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    We are all nucken futz George and you know that. Don't you have to be to play with dead animals? Any taxidermist that thinks they are "Normal" is lying to themselves.
    Actually it isn't the playing with dead animals part, it is dealing with live customers that make us nucken futz.
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  3. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Oftentimes, I have customers that tell me they tried taxidermy when they were younger, and then moved on to other things. My reply is that "Normal people move on, just us nutcases continue with it!"
  4. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    Well .... I know I am 100% normal, heck just ask my sister Abbie, she will tell you.


  5. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

    Wow, haven’t seen that article in a long time. When I first read it I said to myself, “ that’s us taxidermists”.
    It proves itself every day.
    Many suicides in this business. My closet competition até the end of his shotgun out sitting in his pigeon coupe. One of his taxidermist friends found apiece of his skull and saved it for a souvenir.
    There was a bird taxidermist that built a duck blind in his yard an até the end of his shotgun also. Both of these guys were quality taxidermists.
    We’re all friggen nuts , just different degrees.
    We do all this for low living wage with no benefits , pia customer’s , we get to play with tick infested animals , we’re nuts !
    No wonder in the Hindu religion in India , taxidermists were banned from living in the cities because they were “ unclean “ . They had to live outside the city with the garbage collectors and undertakers.
    In the Democrats newly proposed “ 15 minute cities” , will they have a taxidermist living in each city?
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2023
  6. Museum Man

    Museum Man Well-Known Member

    Maybe sometimes a little gassy but never Mad!
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  7. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    I don’t deny anything!!!
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  8. tahrman7mm

    tahrman7mm New Member

    Many taxidermist used to use arsenic which often contained mercury, this caused "Mad Hatter's disease" a form of mercury poisoning that affects the brain and nervous system. People can develop mercury poisoning by inhaling mercury vapors. Mad hatter's disease is caused by chronic mercury poisoning. It is characterized by emotional, mental, and behavioral changes, among other symptoms.
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  9. Dave York

    Dave York Well-Known Member

    AKA Joe Biden disease
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  10. Dave York

    Dave York Well-Known Member

    I don’t know if it was ancient Israel or another middle eastern country that said there were two reasons fo divorce. Infidelity and your husband being a tanner
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  11. Taxidermy T’s

    Taxidermy T’s Well-Known Member

    Hell no, that is me.
    I’m proud to be crazy
    Bi polar, ADHA, anti social, a creative taxidermist brain is like a Rolodex flipping full speed in your brain
    ……..scary , you never know what page it’s gonna stop on……
    When he gets quiet and thier eyes start to move quickly left and tight and up and down , best to leave the room ,,,,,
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  12. Dave York

    Dave York Well-Known Member

    Is that an either or question? A friend wants to know
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  13. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member


    "The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake."

    I don't know who wrote this. But while most responders admit to being crazy, I know for a fact there was nothing crazy about Henry Inchumuk whom I knew well. And none of the visionaries I wrote about in my four part series (published in Breakthough) could hardly be called crazy. A little self demeaning here and there, I can understand. It all depends entirely on one's definition of the word itself.
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  14. I've always been called crazy for being a taxidermist and "playing with dead animals" so I guess the shoe fits.
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  15. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    "You have to be crazy to be a taxidermist or being a taxidermist makes you crazy!"
  16. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

    (Emphasis added by me.)

    1. mad, especially as manifested in wild or aggressive behaviour

    Example: Stella went crazy and assaulted a visitor

    2. extremely enthusiastic

    Example: I'm crazy about Cindy

    3. (of an angle) appearing absurdly out of place or unlikely

    Example: the monument leant at a crazy angle

    1. extremely

    Example: I've been crazy busy

    1. a mad person

    Example: keep that crazy away from me
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  17. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Joe, it's pretty obvious to the rest of us that you're a prime example of who the authors were talking about. Had you spent as much time reading it as you did looking up common, obscure,and antiquated word definitions, "taxidermists" was not specifically mentioned. It was about artists and every taxidermist likes to claim that particular title: artist. I can't speak for others but for over 60 years. I must have "burned out" half a dozen times. I worked through each of them but for days it was tortuous labor. Yet, some event would happen and I couldn't wait to get into the shop. I'd work 12 and 16 hours without a hitch and hate having to stop because I was sleepy. Yet it became a vicious circle that kept coming more quickly each time. I used ancillary work and taxidermy conventions to reinvigorate me. I met Henry and he admitted the labor and love issues. He said his museum and teaching gave him the respite between those times. I actually posted this with you and John Janelli in mind. I refused to let taxidermy, however much I truly loved it, to define and dominate my life. I kept hobbies totally different from it; writing, carpentry, illustrations, pen/pencil/ink drawings. As much as I love hunting and fishing, they had a taxidermy connotations that allowed rebirth into the shop.
    So if you're in denial about what made you such a talent instead of embracing it, I guess that's something you have to live with. For everyone else. I sincerely hope you never take yourself too seriously and you always have time for yourself and your families to stop and smell the roses.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2023
  18. jake7719

    jake7719 Well-Known Member

    I get along with the Monsters under my bed and I listen to the voices in my head.
    I even have the documentation from the VA to prove it and the VA pays me to be this way.
    Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
    100% compensated, permanent and employable.
    All the Kings horses and all the Kings men couldn't put Hummpty together again, so they give me $45k a year for me being me.
    I'm one blessed SOB isn't I.
  19. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

  20. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member


    George writes: "...common, obscure,and antiquated word definitions..." Come on Mr. Know-it-all, you can't possibly know how much time I spent reading and looking up definitions. Tell us why the definitions I put up for the convenience and edification of those who might learn something from them are inappropriate much less obscure and antiquated. You're just bullshitting there.

    George: ".... it's pretty obvious to the rest of us that you're a prime example..." And your evidence to prove your assertion consists of what? And exactly who are the "rest of us" besides you and Christoforo? WHO?

    George: "....for over 60 years. I must have "burned out" half a dozen times." You burned out, not me. I never burned out on taxidermy over 64 years. Taxidermy is what I do and why I've engaged it in all its branches and wrote hundreds of articles on various aspects of it. And you can't prove I burned out like you did repeatedly. You made the claim, so the burden of proof is on YOU. No, taxidermists were not specifically mentioned, but taxidermy is an applied ART. Taxidermist are artists as well as artisans and craftsmen. I presume you read my book?

    George: "So if you're in denial about what made you such a talent instead of embracing it, I guess that's something you have to live with." What if I'm not in denial? Didn't think of that did you? And from which side of your brain do you pluck these accusations? Are you some kind of an analyst now or just some poor air force retiree who needs this social medium tofind meaning in life, or to stave off your bouts of depression or simply to find fault with me?

    I read the whole article and here's the take away that drains all the air out of your accusations about Joe Kish.

    "Because creativity and manic-depressive disorder seem only indirectly related, with each being connected to a third factor, virtually all researchers join Andreasen in denying any necessary connection between madness and art.

    I don’t believe that the vast proportion of creative people are or were psychotic.” Conversely, noted Frank Barron, a psychologist at the University of California at Santa Cruz who has studied creativity for nearly three decades. “There are lots of manic depressives who don’t manifest any creativity. If you go into a hospital, you don’t find eccentric people, you find apathetic, pathetic sick people.”

    (Emphasis added.)