With over 400 colour photos gives a full understanding for anybody starting bird taxidermy. Available for instant download - £6.00
Eurasian Magpie genera Cissa £150.00…
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I have had an interest in wildlife from an early age collecting taxidermy from the age of twelve; I was given a little owl for my birthday. This fascinated me on how the taxidermist had done the bird, its body, eyes and how he had preserved it. My collection grew bigger to round about fifteen birds, now in my early twenties it was time to have a go, with no proper materials and just an old Victorian book to work from I produced an overfilled crow with ball bearings for its eyes. A piece of work I wish I had kept. I struggled on for a few more years then found the guild of taxidermists, attending my first conference at York in 1995. Walking proudly in with my over filled, cross-eyed, long necked sparrow hawk I was bowled over. This was my first encounter with top quality taxidermy; the members of the guild were very kind with their comments, but moved on to strong constructive criticism. This was a steep learning curve for me but with help from members of the guild my confidence grew and my work improved.
Then in 1998 I travelled to Helsinki to the European taxidermy competition attending talks given by the top European and International taxidermists gave me a tremendous boost to improve my work further.
Peccary shoulder mount 1999
Common Eiders 1999
Over the next few years I worked on mammals, game heads and birds trying to improve my work with each mount. Winning most improved taxidermist in 1999 was just the boost I need to start considering this as a career.
Fox Wall mounted 2000
Common Eider, Best Amateur Mount 2000
Winning the best amateur 2000 was the first step in making this a career, still working on head mounts and birds I took the decision to stop working on full mammals.
Rams shoulder mount 2001
High land bull shoulder mount 2001
Know taking a lot of inspiration for the work mounted at the world show in the USA wanted my next mount to be a pedestal. With very few medium sized mammals in the UK to work on I turned to my favourite the badger.
After winning this award twice I made the decision to compete in professional.
Again taking ideas from the USA I mounted what was at the time my largest project jet a strutting turkey.
In 2003 I was still working on Game heads and birds but was considering just working on birds. So after being told one of the hardest heads to work on would be a dog I worked a fox hound shoulder, receiving a credit for this mount I was very happy but though know was a good time to stop head mounts.
European badgers, Best amateur mount 2001
Fox Hound 2003
Hooded crow, Best Professional Bird, Best of Category Bird, Professional Division, Scoring 98
The goal was to one day compete at the World taxidermy show in the USA and in 2003 this happened. I entered two mounts the first a hooded crow on a beach scene and the second a hooded crow on a stone face covered in snow and ice. Collecting a second place ribbon for the first crow then a first placed ribbon for my second crow later that day at the award banquet I awarded best professional bird 2003 this was a dream come true. Returning to England being the first British taxidermist to have achieved this award made me very proud and helped me concentrate harder on the quality of my taxidermy.
I attended the world show again in 2005 using all I had learnt over the last ten years I gave it my all. Taking three mounts and six birds this was a major task I received four second place ribbons, two first placed ribbons, best professional bird 2005 then the added award of Best professional competitor 2005.
Little owl 2005, Best Professional Bird, Best of Category Bird, Professional Division, Scoring 96
Carrying Crow, 1st Place ribbon, Scoring 94
Jackdaws, Three 2nd place, Ribbons, Scoring 85/86/87
Pair of gargoyles
Me posing with the crows
In 2008 I exhibited at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art at Gateshead, The exhibition pair's complementary individuals whose unique profession or life experience are anticipated to generate an informed commentary on a variety of local and national topics.
This was a very interesting show for me as I have only exhibited in front of people who like taxidermy not an open audience, With four mount birds on display I though a demonstration would be a good idea. I was coupled up with an embalmer which made the day even more interesting.
I hosted a two day seminar with help from the guild of taxidermist and the British Historical Taxidermy Society this talk was free to all I wanted to bring different people to a bird taxidermy talk. About 60 people attended both days I skinned out two buzzards and carved a body the first day having time left at the end of the day I mount a crow which was prepared early.
The finished bird mount at the 2011 seminar
The second day went well mounting one buzzard in the morning then after giving people the chance to go home for those how had travelled a long way. I set about and mounted the other buzzard in the afternoon leaving time for questions.
In this seminar I mount a buzzard on the first day but also I mount an armature long side the buzzard to show the construction under the skin, this help you see what is going on once the carved body is placed in the skin. The armature work will by giving people chance to move the armature about gave I hope them a better understanding of how a bird works.
The final section of the seminar was devoted to composition of the finished piece and an explanation of the arranging of the feathers (feathering).
After nineteen years practising bird taxidermy and trying many different methods and materials I thought it was time to produce manual that shows the method I have developed over the years to give you the basic foundations for you to build over time experience for you to undertake challenges in bird taxidermy. It's getting a good understanding of the basic construction to make as accurate armature which will give you the full control of your mount. Being in control will help build your confidence to overcome the challenges small to large birds, fatty and greasy birds, and fleshy skin parts to the more complicated projects.
Showing a practical and basic approach with over four hundred detailed photographs shows mounting a bird from start to finish while alongside building an armature showing an easy to understand modern style of taxidermy.
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I wanted to make my method as easy to understand as possible so I created the CD of the complete series of images so they can upload to your computer and follow the full process in large images
I am still striving to improve my work, constantly learning new techniques, materials and not to forget the most important thing of all to watch, learn and understand the birds I work with and persevere to bring the birds I work on back to life.
Source of birds - a large percentage of these are fatal road casualties, birds flying into windows, also bird breeders and keepers who lose their captive birds and falconers who lose their flying and breeding birds.