Three dimensional preservation of the animal
In general, everyone knows what taxidermy is. They have either seen the finished game heads on walls or seen a full statue of an animal. They know that it is a three dimensional preservation of the animal so that it can be permanently displayed in one way or another. What most people don’t realize is that taxidermy is a viable career option and a loved art form.
Surprisingly for those who are not familiar with taxidermy, it is actually a successful industry. In fact, it is a billion dollar industry that is still thriving despite the shift to more urban pursuits. Taxidermy is a thriving industry and it is a hobby that more and more people are interested in pursuing.
But what exactly is taxidermy? While the ins and outs of taxidermy are described in The Ultimate Guide to Taxidermy, the main point of taxidermy is that it is a wildlife art form where you take the pelt of the animal and preserve it. After it is preserved, or tanned, then the pelt is placed over a form that is shaped to look like the animal. This could be any type of animal or even a portion of the animal.
The main goal is to create a lifelike finished product that has the movement and anatomy that closely resembles the animal the taxidermist is creating. Although we often look at taxidermy being done with the use of a pelt, it is important to note that this form of art can also be reproduced with manmade materials so there is ability for anyone to enjoy the art of taxidermy.
Because of the versatility of the methods used, taxidermists use a wide variety of skills to create their finished pieces. The taxidermist needs to know how to craft the animal, paint, sculpt and also how to do carpentry and wood working. The taxidermist needs to have the knowledge and skill to not only work with natural materials but also manmade materials to create a life like animal statue.
As you can tell, there is more to taxidermy than what the average person knows and the name itself has the root in Greek, which means movement and skin. It is a type of craft that has been used for thousands of years and it continues to be used in homes, businesses and museums around the world.