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What defines a "master" ?

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Jimmy Lawrence, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. Im sure this has been brought up before, but I'd like to know the opinions of some of the greatest fish artists on the face of the earth!!!

    What in your opinion, constitutes a "master taxidermist"?? Is it winning the blues? Is it sharing your knowledge with others? Is it interpreting your reference, and being able to do so on a regular basis?????

    This question is for the "novice" and the "heavy hitters" of fish taxidermy. I was sitting up with a sinus infection at 4am this morning, and for whatever fever induced reason, thought this would be a very good topic for debate!!

    Let me know your opinions.
  2. j_scott

    j_scott New Member

    This is something i would like to know as well and will keep watching the post to see the answer, thanks for asking that

  3. It is self proclaimed by most. I dont think there is a title unless you win a masters division at the world show. I dont know if state shows have a master division but they probably due.
  4. kbauman

    kbauman Active Member

    Jimmy, I think this was well hashed out in a previous posting. Sorry, I don't remember the title, but someone on here may remember.
  5. You know what though

    If a Guy says he is a Master. He isnt! All of the "Masters" I know still claim they dont know anything :)
  6. Rick Krane

    Rick Krane Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor

    Great question Jimmy!
    I love this one every time it gets debated. As our great and most talented friend Kenny said this on is in the archives but new blood to the sward is always makes for intresting conversation. I too sit in the same viewing section with Josh I know what I consider a Master but that is based on my own personal placement of values and importance. There are master plumbers, electricians , carpenters, But are there Master surgeon's or accountant's? Probably! The title of master is given to some in trades as a level or a standard of achievement or excellence. We in taxidermy have only one standard (OK here comes my once a year controversial statement) that is what "poor quality work is" We can look at a poorly done specimen of taxidermy and say I don't think that looks good or the average person can look and say I have seen better. Well all this tells me is that it is far easier to look at bad work and be able to identify what we don't like. When it comes to good or great work I think it is also preference that influences us. I may look at a fish that has imperfections and lacks 100% anatomical correctness however I may love the look of it as a work of art in a pleasing personal way. When I judge I adhere to my experience and knowledge for that day in time for that show. I may learn some thing new the next day that may change my thoughts or perspective. The NTA has a Standard and folks achieve this however it is a level of excellence not mastery. For those who have achieved this honer no disrespect is meant by my statement just personally all I know who have achieved this honer have shared with me that they hold better work inside them. As time comes and goes the bar is raised and what was considered masterfull of yesterday may not be today. So for me I hold a different standard that in my mind surpasses or transends time this is why my list of Masters is very small.
    So Jimmy it all comes down to personal standards and opinion. You or others may agree or disagree with me and you should as it is only my thought on this and my opinion.
    As I think about it I don't use the word "Master" in any of my advertising or associate it with my name. This is for no other reason then I don't yet hold my self in the same light as those I feel whom have achieved this status in my personal mind. I hope I don't in my life time because then I will have crossed the line that may stop me from being youthfull in my pursuits of knowledge and a better perspective to Hone my craft. I am no Master but I have heard such things call or said about some many. It is a great day we live in with so many Masters to share with us. It is a great student that understands that the teacher is there own ability to know they will never reach the end of the road of knowledge. Mastery or not you still have scales to tip Mr Lawrence get back to work you have a lot of long days in front of you when you get here in February. LOL!

    Rick Krane
  7. Brian W

    Brian W Active Member

    Ahhhhh, the Master has spoken............ That's my opinion... ;D
  8. j_scott

    j_scott New Member

    I can most certanly respect that answer and on top of that my personal opion is this if I shouldn't have to tell anyone i am a Master, my work should speak for itself. just to let you all know i am not a master or even close to mastering Taxidermy, i have just started to learn this and i am learning as i go. but that reflects in what i do for a living taxidermy is not what i do for a living its what i do to relax and as a hobby
  9. As Michelangelo said "Its a fool who mouths of his craft"
    Let the work do the talking they can give out the titles after your dead ;D
  10. I have mastered the marsh!! :D
  11. Pescado

    Pescado Biggest in 2011

    I am the "Master Baiter" just look at my website. Here's a picture to back up my claim as well.
  12. den007

    den007 Active Member

    Reminds me of a karate tenet. A black belt, after wearing the mark of mastery for a lifetime sees it turn frayed, then grey, then finally almost white. The sign of a novice. He realizes this whole thing is a cycle.....he still has much to learn. Menial tasks such as floor scrubbing are engaged in by real masters alongside students.

    I guess real master recognize others. Now, I recall Lou Wynia, an awesome fish painter, in a tape humbly saying he can paint a decent commercial fish, but his paint schedules were by no means top competition. I guess I would be one of those "blue collar" painters that can turn out decent commercial fish, but have never gotten the competition bug.

    Whenever, I see a freshly caught fish, I realize all we do with our paintbrushes is mimic the real Master. Paint cannot duplicate the Creator. Rick's walleyes and Dave Campbell's salmonoids are running a close second though!

    Let's face it......no matter how great we get ourselves pumped up to be....we are going to leave this world as we entered.....fat, bald, and broke!
  13. Thanks to all those that chimed in. I didn't realize that it has been discussed in the past, and for bringing it back up , I appologise!!!!! :)
    I just thought that this seemed fitting enough for an absolutely horrendous monday! :-\ I agree with alot of what has been said. I have seen people boast about being a "master" and I wouldn't claim there work for all the tea in china. On the flip side, I have seen such "commercial" taxidermist work that blow others out of the water!
    I didn't ask the question in reference to my own work in any way, shape or form. I haven't found a label for my work, and like my mentor Rick Krane, hope I never do. I go into each and every seminar, competition, and workshop with an open, eagar mind. I am like a sponge of information. Just finding ways to relate what I take in, to all the obstacles we face, is my biggest challenge I think. There are a few people on here that I consider "masters" of their craft, and they each have their own reasons.
    den007, Rick told me some very similar advice, about comparing your absolute best to the real deal. You will come up wanting every single time. But then again, the creator,( whoever and whatever people believe in), had a little bit of a head start perfecting things!!!!
    Thanks for everyones time. And Rick, about getting back to work.......I walked out of my shop for lunch, and everything was fine, came back in and had 4"of water standing and runnin out of my door when I got back. Lost alot of power tools, and chemicals. Terrible day indeed. But I will be hard at it tomarrow. Spent alot of time behind a broom pushing water.

    Thanks everyone! Jimmy Lawrence
  14. EJ

    EJ Proud Member of: Unaffiliated, Free Agent

    The size of his Whip! ;D
  15. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

    I used to think that I might be a master fish taxidermist, but then I came down to earth! I know there are probably parts of fish taxidermy that I may have mastered, but not really. We as taxidermists haven't really even came close to the the creation and our Creator. We are so far off, and will never be even close. We cant feel the softness of a fin or roll an eyeball. Even like Josh said, my friend Frank Newmyer admits that he is so far from mastering ducks, but yet is right there on the top. In reality, there will never be one, we all have room to learn more.
  16. But Jimmy , When you can take the pebble ,from Rick`s hand, then it will be time for you to leave . LOL You are probably too young to remember the old Kung Fu TV series . I hope tomorrow is a better day for you my friend. Take care , Randy
  17. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    Your customer recognizes the master. To him you are it. Isn't that all that counts? Just a thought...JL
  18. FinFlight

    FinFlight TRAIL CREEK

    Well in MHO we all try to master the art,but if we truly master it you would not do it anymore because there would be no way to improve because it would be perfect.
  19. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    I would say something about what day today is, and EJ's whip, but somwone would read to much into it. ;D
  20. EJ

    EJ Proud Member of: Unaffiliated, Free Agent

    ;D 8) ;D 8)