A profession which has been around for thousands of years
by：Art Wing 2020-06-14
Taxidermy is an art form involving many skills that can take years to perfect. Normally someone that practices it will need to perfect skills such as painting, drawing, woodworking, casting and molding and have a lot of patience as it is a very slow process and one which cannot be rushed. Although the process is a lot more sophisticated than it was years ago, it is still something that only a true craftsman can carry out.
Taxidermy can be carried out on a wide range of animals, but is most commonly used when hunters catch and kill something they want keep as a memento. Although many people are turning to taxidermy as a way to preserve their much loved pets.
If carried out properly it can result in a very life like results, which have been known to fool people if they are entering somewhere that displays a full size animal.
The process of Taxidermy
There are several different processes that can be used. Most involve skinning the animal and placing it on a mannequin mount.
The most traditional method involves using the bones of animal to create a mannequin which is normally carved out of wood or wood wool. And then the skin is tanned and treated and placed on the mount. Another process involves molding plaster around the carcass.
A trend that is becoming increasingly popular is to freeze dry the animal, however this is extremely time consuming and expensive. If you have a large animal they could spend up to six months in a freeze dryer. This method is normally used on the smaller mammals such as cats, mice and birds, although it can be used on some of the smaller varieties of dogs. It has been known that animals preserved in this way can later on be susceptible to being eaten by pests such as carpet beetles.
Another method used in Taxidermy
A taxidermist will quite often not use any of these methods, especially in the case of fish. It is quite common for fisherman that wants to keep a memento of their catch to take photographs and measurements before releasing the fish back into the water. The details will then allow a taxidermist to create a sculpture out of fiberglass or resin. This is where the skill of painting comes into play as the practitioner will then delicately decorate the sculpture which will result in a replica of the fish.