The World Taxidermy & Fish Carving Championships

I’m not much on art competitions, but this one got my attention. This is what I call a real “competition”! A timed event with 22 hours to sculpt a life sized mammal.

Artist are allowed to pick the animal they want. Choose the pose that it’s in, and learn the anatomy ahead of time. This also means having what is called an “Armature”. Most of theses are made out of wire and serve as a skeleton for the sculpture.

In this case, the actual armature is the real skeleton of the animal. Or at least, to my understanding it has been traditionally.

Armature made of bone,rods,and Epoxy

In case your’re wondering, this is a raccoon skeleton. The finished piece won’t be a complete raccoon but a mannequin of one. In Taxidermy terms, this means an animal without it’s skin only. The mannequin represents the bones, muscle and fat. Mannequins serve as the body for the mount. The skin is wrapped around the foam body, then sewn up. There is a lot more to it than that, but you get the idea.

They are originally sculpted out of oil based clay. A mold is made from the clay sculpture, then cast in a light weight foam.

Having never done this before, I really don’t know what to expect. I figure this will be a learning experience. I have changed the pose three times since I started, and this is the best one yet.

The event takes place in Springfield, Missouri. I can’t think of a more appropriate location to have this. As of writing this, I’m here in a Springfield hotel getting ready, and wrapping up any loose ends in my mind. It starts Wednesday May 3 and ends the 7th.

until next time,

BW Bramblett

Leave a Reply