Conference 2011 review
The 2011 conference was held over the weekend of 18th - 20th March
This year delegates were treated to a packed programme of events lead by the talented Maurice Bouten from the Netherlands who demonstrated his methods of mounting a Roe deer head using a commercial manikin
Since 1918, the Bouten Family has managed a successful taxidermy
business Maurice is the 4th generation to carry on the family business His experience and expertise was evident to the captivated audience.
Pat Morris treated us to an extremely interesting and fact filled talk on the subject of taxidermy on elephants and concluded with his findings on the mysterious subject of Human taxidermy
Kim McDonald from taxidermy law co. updated members with the latest news and regulations from DEFRA
After the competition results and presentation of winners certificates and rosettes Saturday evening was completed with the light hearted Avian challenge where Mike Gadd used his expertise to help the audience choose a winning Magpie that closest matched the Picture of a magpie that the entrants were asked to copy
In a way the contestants were all winners, not just for being bold enough to enter the competition and risk public criticism, but all benefited from Mikes acerbic but reasonably gentle appraisals, and general discussion of detailed points comparing one specimen with another. Actually, perhaps we have all won because this is what the Guild is for, and its greatest success: mutual help, in practice and understanding. The sharing of ideas and benefiting from constructive criticism all help to support and improve the quality of taxidermy today.
The effect of this drive for imaginative work and improving technique was evident from the items submitted for judging.
Sunday saw the completion of the Roe head By Maurice , Drew Baine from Edinburgh Museum shared his method of tanning mammal skins .
Polly Urquhart and Sally Adams gave an interesting short talk about the need for newcomers to be able to get good informative training in the taxidermy profession.
An event filled weekend was finished with ' Doctors surgery' Where Mike Gadd again used his expertise to explain to those struggling with various problems with their bird taxidermy why these problems were occurring and how to resolve them
It was also really nice to see so many new faces , an encouraging sign that taxidermy is attracting a broader range of interests and reaching a wider and appreciative audience.
It is at these events that the value of the Guild becomes all too apparent. If officialdom decides to tighten the rules, then without a proper professional body to stand up for taxidermy, we will all lose out (and lose our jobs too in some cases). Support for the Guild is vital if taxidermy is not to be relegated to the status of egg-dealing, whose professionals were long since put out of business. Taxidermy is not destructive, unlike egg collecting, but we need to support our Guild, and its organising Committee, to develop more effective ways of managing taxidermy and its perception by the public. That means all of us attending meetings, contributing to conferences, joining the Committee (even for a short spell) and generally paying attention to what is going on. Neglect of the Guild and what it stands for risks allowing taxidermy to be strangled by red tape and public disapproval.