Taxidermists: Craft and Business

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Who are taxidermists? They are called in a different and not very personal way - scarecrows (the word taxidermist consists of two Greek roots: taxis - device, derma - skin).

In Soviet times, stuffed animals could only be found in museums - local history and zoological. In those days, it was believed that stuffing stuffed animals with something other than a museum and for some reason, except for strictly scientific and educational purposes, was bourgeois, old-fashioned and not quite decent.

Times have passed and it turned out that in the West the craft and business of taxidermists is a very prolific and very expensive feature, and craft traditions are passed down from generation to generation. (According to experts, in the West, taxidermy with all its industry areas has been put on the “production line”) ...

Now in Russia and the CIS countries this trend is being revived, however, since the growth of wealth, and hence our consumption, has still not “grown” to the western level, the revival of the trend and industry is not going as fast as anyone would like it to .. .

Who needs stuffed animals today?

Like hundreds of years ago, the circle of consumers of this rare, expensive and sophisticated product is small, but it is very solvent. Stuffed animals (or in other words - hunting trophies) are popular, first of all, among hunters and hunting clubs, and these people and organizations are not poor.

Stuffed animals (trophies) are one of the most expensive items of the so-called “souvenir”; they are most often bought as a gift, for an anniversary, for the opening of one or another establishment.

It can be concluded: stuffed animals are a luxury item. Some experts and fans of the case also note that consumers of this rare product consider the stuffed beast (hunting trophy) as a kind of mystical symbol, as a talisman that brings good luck. Well, people who believe in the mystical power of talismans, as a rule, do not spare money on talismans.

The second largest segment of the consumer market - designers, architects, as well as their wealthy clients - people who build their suburban mansions, remodel the interiors of their apartments in the "luxury" class. The owners of expensive non-residential real estate do not stand aside - they decorate the interiors of offices, restaurants, clubs with hunting trophies.

So, due to the circumstances, in Russia today there is a sharp shortage of qualified specialists in the taxidermy industry (they call the figure no more than 100 people in the whole country!).

It is extremely difficult to run a business, since components of domestic production are completely absent and everything has to be purchased abroad.

Most popular trophies

Traditionally, the most popular trophies for a domestic customer (both private and corporate) are the following trophies: stuffed deer, wild boar, roe deer, pheasant, owl, capercaillie, duck, pike, perch and pike perch.

A separate item of income is rare orders for the restoration of existing stuffed animals, often museum items. These include, for example, stuffed animals made back in the 18th century. By the way, a trophy made in accordance with all the rules can be stored at room temperature from 150 to 200 years!

Some figures that the players agreed to disclose

The business of taxidermists is quite closed, stuffed animals are made “to order”, information about specific figures from such an industry is leaking extremely weak. Nevertheless, it turned out to be possible to find out some information.

One stuffed animal is made from 3-5 days to six months.

At the start of the business, according to the estimates of a few players, you need to invest from 30 to 50 thousand dollars, and the business itself pays off (subject to a successful set of circumstances) within a period of two to five years ...

Who can become a taxidermy?

A person who wants to earn a name and money with the craft of a taxidermy must have some mandatory set of talents, knowledge and skills.

Firstly, the scarer is required to possess knowledge in the field of anatomy, zoology, veterinary medicine, ecology and chemistry.

In addition, the artificer must have the education (or talent) of the sculptor. He just needs to understand the spatial relationships of sizes and shapes.

Among other things, it is advisable for the scientist to master the technique of animalistic drawing in order to think through the poses, turns of the head, and even the position of the beast’s ears, which will eloquently speak about his habits, character ...

Taxidermy Studio: Craft Features

Taxidermy workshop today is a sculptor's studio. First of all, a taxidermist makes mini-sculptures from plasticine - he trains. Then, in the image and likeness of the most successful plasticine sculpture, mannequins-sculptures are made of polystyrene - the size that is needed. And only then on the foam mannequins - these skins are put on. Skins are made separately in a special workshop. Worn on a mannequin, they are tinted by hand and at the end - are mounted on a special pedestal - the podium.

The eyes for future hunting trophies are made from plexiglass.

The most important part of the stuffed animal manufacturing process is the proper attachment of the skin on the mannequin.

By the way, it was with the advent of this same mannequin that took place in the USA in the middle of the 20th century that taxidermy made a quantum leap in development and completely ceased to be what it was, say, in the nineteenth century ... Therefore, now no one is “stuffing stuffed” taxidermists can no longer be called sawdust or cotton wool, and therefore banal “scarecrows”. Well, and most importantly, with the advent of mannequins, taxidermy ceased to be the craft of slowly working eccentric homeworkers, but became a whole glamorous industry, a business put on stream.

It is not a secret that in the West, many pet lovers order stuffed animals after their death. (In Russia, by the way, this trend, according to the unanimous opinion of all players, has not taken root and will not take root).

It was the answer to such massive orders “to make a stuffed beloved creature” that was a breakthrough in taxidermy technology.

What is enjoyed with pleasure by those who work the old fashioned way - on orders for hunting trophies.

Elena Nazarenko

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