Hunters spend a considerable amount of time each year planning their safari adventure – with the ultimate goal in mind: taking a legendary African animal. A large expense is incurred in getting all the appropriate packs, optics, boots, weapons, and other safari gear to acquire the ultimate trophy, as well as nominating a renowned safari outfitter to guide their journey on the African plains.
The same amount of time, effort, and planning that goes into the safari should be invested into nominating the best local taxidermist (with in-depth knowledge of African species) to preserve your trophy/trophies. The process of selecting a taxidermist is one that requires careful consideration.
Professional taxidermists in South Africa are not required to have any specific education, but many of them do have degrees or diplomas in related fields, including museology, conservation, exhibition and design, museum chemistry, photography, and sculpture.
Artisans who practise taxidermy create works of art from the skulls and skins of animals hunted. It should be every taxidermist’s core goal to recreate animals into prized trophies, closely embodying the essence of the animal or specie as seen in the wild.
When replying to questions from clients or receiving instructions for the mounting of animal trophies, professional taxidermists use their listening, speaking, and writing abilities, which makes for effective communication, which is key to maintaining the status of a professional taxidermist.
The taxidermist must continuously think about the final goal for the artwork before beginning the process. There are various procedures and stages of mounting trophies that have taken years of modifications, implementations, planning, etc. The production process normally consists of the following departments: booking-in, tannery, boiling, shaving, mannikin making, mounting (stitching and sculpting), woodwork, but to name a few. Therefore, knowing the end goal of the item and the client’s desired outcome is crucial.
The ability to pay close attention to details is crucial for any taxidermist who hopes to achieve success in their field. Taxidermy is an art form that calls for extreme precision and careful attention to everything they do. Taxidermists need to be conversant with animal anatomy but also with carpentry, woodworking, tanning, moulding, sketching, sculpting, and casting.
Remaining faithful to natural form is always a priority, irrespective of whether trophies are mounted for museum (educational) purposes or for a hunter’s private collection. However, a taxidermist needs to be open to unique mounting preferences and, should the client not have specific instructions in mind, then creative freedom is a necessity for any professional taxidermist.
Taxidermists are not only artistic and creative but also interested in wildlife, species, conservation, and biology.
At Life-Form (world-renowned) Taxidermy, you will find true artists in taxidermy. They have a special talent for recreating the natural structure, capturing the behaviour and forms of South African or African wildlife and their habitats. Their work will serve as a lasting reminder of your African safari.
The Life-Form Taxidermy team is patient and eager to investigate their subjects in order to ensure that the finished products are accurate, lifelike replicas of valued trophies taken in the wild. The Life-Form crew comprises excellent artisans who take great pleasure in the intricacies of the task at hand. The team not only consists of phenomenal artists but also of a well-balanced, informed, and educated administrative team that will guide you throughout the taxidermy journey, always putting your taxidermy needs first – from humble beginnings to the very end, when your trophy/trophies are home and displayed for a lifetime.