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January 24, 2013
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Open Question for dA Taxidermists- normal and soft by ksheridan Open Question for dA Taxidermists- normal and soft by ksheridan
So this is Bob. I got him today from Ebay as shop cleanout ready-to-rug coyote, and every piece of that ensemble had Bob written on it in pen. He is tanned and flexible, and his fur is "alright". Not quite premium but certainly not terrible either.

So my somewhat long-winded question to all dA taxidermists is:
Due to money and time constraints, I usually don't get too many cheap critters that aren't tanned explicitly for traditional taxidermy mounts. I was considering either rugging or plushing him. However, this isn't a simple "which should I do to this single critter" question: I'm curious as to which method will be more valuable in the long run, and I do intend to try both in the future. I have completed traditional pedestal mounts and lifesizes so I have a good grasp on the process, and if this coyote was prepared in a different way I probably would have made a traditional lifesize.

So which method sells more readily for coyote? Obviously my first rug or plush isn't going to be awesome but lets assume this is the first in a series leading to something sellable. I just find it hard to imagine there is a decent market for coyote rugs, and clearly there's a level of skill necessary before soft mounts are marketable either, but maybe you know better. If this was YOUR coyote, what would you do and WHY? It's really the 'why' that I'm curious about here. And for anyone who is just a fan and doesn't do taxidermy, would you be more likely to buy a coyote rug or plush, and why?

And of course, there's a good reason I'm asking here instead of taxi.net where plushies are teh evulz. ;)

and if for whatever reason you don't want your answer public, note me instead.


EDIT: I have decided based on many responses that Rug would be the best method for Bob. After some work on him today I think he definitely is not ideal for a soft mount. In the future I'd like to do a soft mount and I welcome any opinions, suggestions or recommendations.
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:iconflashbackpractice:
FlashbackPractice Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Student Digital Artist
It all depends on who your market is. I'd say on DA plushes sell super fast where as in the 'real world' most people wouldn't want one. However, hardmount taxidermy sells for more and has a MUCH wider market. Skills in traditional taxidermy will actually give you a JOB as opposed to a hobby.
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:iconksheridan:
ksheridan Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Professional General Artist
True. I already do traditional taxidermy primarily. This guy isn't suitable for a lifesize mount though. :)
Reply
:iconknuxtiger4:
Knuxtiger4 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Professional General Artist
Personally from an artist perspective, I would go rugged. As *CindarellaPop put it, it would make for a good portfolio piece upon completion if you are trying to build up a business that has taxidermy involved. I actually finished my portfolio for college and included my taxidermy works along with my other fine arts pieces. I did include my soft mounts in it because majority were commissions which are good to have in a portfolio to show you have sold your works in the past. I also had tons of my personal taxidermy projects, including most of my traditional and rogue taxidermy items since I wanted to show off all the things I've done with taxidermy so far. I'm actually going to be updating it again in fall with the additional taxidermy projects I have on my plate.

From my standpoint, rugged because even if your don't sell it, its good to have some of your works on hand in case you do need to bring or show examples to a client. For selling purpose, a soft mount would faster than a rug on deviantART but I do notice that the ones that sell tend to be below the actual cost and labor that goes into one. Example a nicely done ranch fox that would fetch $500 to $600 soft mounted only sells for $300 to $400. Now if you were selling it on Craiglist, eBay or taxi.net, the rug would definitely have a better chance on selling.

Really its up to you on what you plan on doing. c: Either way I will look forward to see it.
Reply
:iconksheridan:
ksheridan Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the helpful comment.

I've been leaning more towards rugged as the well thought-out comments come in. Bringing it around if it turns out well is a really good idea, and it's definitely easier to fold up a rug than lug around a giant soft mount.
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:iconknuxtiger4:
Knuxtiger4 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Professional General Artist
No problem. ouo

And I'll have to agree with you on moving the rug around, it would be ten times easier to fold up rather than lugging a soft mount around if you needed to bring it somewhere.
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:iconnightmarewolf199:
nightmarewolf199 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist
Well, in my opinion I would do a soft mount if I wanted/needed the money at the specific time.. I do prefer the traditional mount because I feel it is more respectable to the creature jmo. If you did a traditional mount it would cost more to ship and it seems less people will readily buy a traditional mount.(sad but true)
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:iconksheridan:
ksheridan Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the thoughtful comment. This guy isn't prepped well for a traditional mount anyway, but it would probably take just as much sewing for a soft mount... :(
Reply
:iconnightmarewolf199:
nightmarewolf199 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Hobbyist
Well, I wish you luck in whatever method you choose nonetheless. I'm hoping to get my butt started on a mount soon also (I've been waiting for at least 2 years to start)
Reply
:iconshadisin:
ShadiSin Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013
I would love to say rugged, but that's just not how things work today unfortunately..

Plushed would be your best bet, no doubt without it.
Reply
:iconkoeskull:
Koeskull Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I say rug cause plushies are teh evulz. Haha kidding, but in my opinion plushies usually just look bad.. they're legs are floppy and it all just looks strange and anatomically incorrect. But people buy them cause they're soft and fluffy I guess... (I've never done taxidermy, though I want to) Honestly if you've never done either I'd think a rug would probably be much easier.
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:iconksheridan:
ksheridan Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the thoughtful comment. :)
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:iconkillslay-steelclaw:
Killslay-steelclaw Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Professional General Artist
i think everyone has given you good advice for the DA market. the one thing i would want to ask you, is it rug cut? as in completely open?

if it is, it is easier to rug it but if you decide to plush it, remember it will take a long time to stitch up along the middle, it is harder to piece together the seam and the more stitching, the less sturdy the plush is, as there are more seams to get stressed and split open

hope this helps you decide. i personally love both forms of taxidermy, and i myself am mainly working in the plush side of things, but pushing it further into more realistic looking posable taxidermy.
Reply
:iconksheridan:
ksheridan Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Professional General Artist
This helps a lot as well and is exactly the kind of answer I hoped to get. He is prepped for a rug -- split all the way through the pawpads -- and I am fairly concerned about stitching up the legs especially. Most of my LS specimens have been cased or dorsal, so nothing this open.

What have you found is the best prep for plushed skins? I do want my first try to be a cheaper hide, but a lot of those seem to be either rug cut or wallhangers without mountable faces / legs.
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:iconkillslay-steelclaw:
Killslay-steelclaw Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Professional General Artist
best is a cased skin for plushing as there is less seams but you could also use dorsal or ventral as long as the cut is not too long.
for a posable plush, you need to be able to get an armature in and be able to keep up maintenance. in the future i plan on conditioning all of my posable pelts with mink oil to keep them subtle.
Reply
:iconksheridan:
ksheridan Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Professional General Artist
That's an interesting idea. I think this guy is not so supple and posable soft mounts are really interesting to me. Do you usually just use wire as an armature?
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:iconkillslay-steelclaw:
Killslay-steelclaw Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Professional General Artist
Well, I guess some people do use wire for all animals. And i've seen a couple of ones built with salvaged ball and socket joints.

For me, I use wire in small animals (up to medium rabbits) and for any larger animals I use an elasticated ball. Joint armature similar to ball jointed dolls.

I am happy to create one of the elasticated armatures for a piece of taxidermy for a fee. The only restraint is that if the head is too heavy it will be off balance and wont lift its head. To avoid this is use lead weights in the feet and cast lightweight foam and carve my own heads.

Hope this info helps
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:iconartbystarlamoore:
ArtByStarlaMoore Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I am more of a collector than an artist myself but it seems that plushes never really go down in value because there is such a high demand. And they are becoming more and more popular because taxidermy has slowly become a "woman's game". And girls like big fluffy stuffed animals that they can love and cuddle.
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:iconksheridan:
ksheridan Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the thoughtful comment! Very helpful. :)
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:icondas-mimi:
Das-Mimi Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
I agree that rugged this one would sell at a higher price but if you're looking for a quick buy then you want 'em plushed. You also might think about this: Plushes aren't likely to last that long unless they are on display only as opposed to a rug who is pretty much just a display. Long story short, rug will last longer and as a customer I would like that. However don't expect to sell the rug here; Go on places like Ebay, Etsy, Taxi.net, Craigslist or Amazon. DA to me is notorious for plushies flying off the wall.

I'll tell you one thing if you decide to rug him, I'll definitely look at him. I do like rugs. :)
Reply
:iconksheridan:
ksheridan Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the comment. Do you think there is a demand for coyote rugs on Etsy/Ebay/Craigslist/etc? People seem to respond well to bear and wolf, but coyotes?
Reply
:icondas-mimi:
Das-Mimi Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013
You can try to mount that guy up as pretty as possible, make it look really cool! Don't try to lie to people and say he's a wolf but if you can make him as cool looking as possible, you'll get looks from both young and old. I mean, yotes may be a vermin but people like them. They seem to be big brothered by the wolves but there are coyote people. I'd say you have a good chance especially with a black one.

If you want someone older and more into the traditional type of taxidermy, you'd have to make it look REALLY lifelike.

If you want to appeal to the younger crowd, media never fails to put the spotlight on black fur with white/blue/red/hazel eyes.
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:iconksheridan:
ksheridan Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Professional General Artist
Haha, yeah of course I wouldn't call it anything but a coyote.

I'm a bit nervous about how cool he'll turn out though since he's tearing like crazy! We'll see though.
Reply
:iconshriss:
Shriss Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Plushes are in high demand, but I think a rugs are great and would be much easier to do well the first time, especially with your experience. I've seen a lot of bad plushes, (they seem to sell anyway) but I wouldn't want my name attached to one.
Reply
:iconksheridan:
ksheridan Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Professional General Artist
I agree that I don't want my name attached to a bad plushie! Haha! :P
Thanks for the helpful comment.
Reply
:iconmitzi-mutt:
Mitzi-Mutt Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Plush mounts sell so fast. I'd go with plush mount :3
Reply
:iconthelionessesden:
TheLionessesDen Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Student General Artist
I will tell you that from me PERSONALLY, it would sell quickly. Alot of people (at least that I KEEP PAINSTAKINGLY ENCOUNTERING!!!!) would like yote plushed mounts alot. It's something about this animal that alot of people like. It also helps because it's about as much as you can get next to a wolf if you can't afford a $600+mounting charges for one.

I'll be using my "soon to be s.m." as not only something to replace a pet I could never have, as well as an art peice, an study. I didn't want that beauty of an animal to go to waste and be burned.

So all in all, I say plush!
Reply
:iconksheridan:
ksheridan Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thank you, this is a very helpful comment. I see a lot of fox plushes selling fast but I don't know as much about people's interest in coyotes.
Reply
:iconthelionessesden:
TheLionessesDen Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Student General Artist
I'm a coyote person all the way if I can get them.
I like them a bit more than the foxes cause the foxes are a bit generic as a mount.
Reply
:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
While soft mounts are a novelty that sells well on DA, the market here fluctuates a lot and really I'd say you're better off with a rug because "serious" collectors and sportsmen are more likely to take a rug seriously. Rugs generally sell a lot better on taxidermy websites and ebay; and a rug makes for a better "portfolio" piece to show off to potential clients, as most people who come to a taxidermist aren't looking for a plush.
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:iconksheridan:
ksheridan Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the thoughtful response. I've been trying to figure out what the best direction is... I do have pedestals and lifesizes so it won't be too bad if it doesn't make the "serious" portfolio cut.

But how well do coyote rugs do from what you've seen? I know bears and wolves and those sorts of things are very popular but I haven't seen too much about coyotes.
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I think it depends on how good the rug is versus how high demand is. The problem with taxidermy is that it's a 'luxury' item, and therefore it can be very dependent on tiny variables like 'whether or not the people who saw it today are getting paid this week' and other slight variations. I know ranched foxes are commonly sold and traded on DA, but outside of DA the market is tinier unless you're going to physically take your wares out to conventions and art shows and try to sell them there.
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:iconksheridan:
ksheridan Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Professional General Artist
Yeah I suspect this initial rug or plush will be 'average' at best if my past learning curve is any indication.

All art is kind of a luxury item... :S
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Unfortunately so. It's tough for a craftsman to make a living. :C
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:iconvulpers:
vulpers Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
It really depends on where you're advertising.
Since it's on here, I'd say plush; the damn things sell like hotcakes among the DA crowd.
If you stick to, say, eBay or taxi or even one of the thrift/whatever stores around, or really just anywhere that isn't DA or a ren faire, I'd go with a rug.

And on a different note- this might seem random!- I think I read somewhere that you've shown in galleries in the Lowell area? I live there now, I'd like to see your work in person if you're around again! :)
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:iconksheridan:
ksheridan Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the input.

Yeah, I'm in Lowell now! Your profile says Pepperell? That's really close.
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:iconvulpers:
vulpers Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013
Pepperell is my hometown, but I'm a student at UML so I actually reside there!
I live at the hotel downtown...the school bought it so it's basically a dorm with queen sized beds. And I've always wanted to check out some of the galleries downtown, but never got around to it.
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:iconksheridan:
ksheridan Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Professional General Artist
Oh wow, my SO goes to UML. :)
So yeah, we're pretty close... are you on FB?
Reply
:iconatypicalanimal:
AtypicalAnimal Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I'd say plush, no hesitation.
Reply
:iconwhitepup:
whitepup Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
Definitely plushed. You'll have a ton more people willing to buy for more than the value of just a rug.
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:iconwolfhaunt:
WolfHaunt Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
I myself would want that coyote plushed, Mostly because I like soft mounts,(has evil as people think they are. xD) as it can show off the animal a bit more, and looks a bit more lifelike, plus, I use soft mounts as photo refs, and it's kinda hard to do with at with a flat rug. xD I'm a huge fan of bear rugs, but for smaller animals, like coyotes, I would rather see it plushed or lifesized, plus, you'll sell it a lot faster on here at least than if you rug it.
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:iconksheridan:
ksheridan Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the feedback!
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:iconyukichana:
YukiChana Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I'd say plushed because I usually see a rug on sale for a while and a plush sell within a month or two.
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:iconksheridan:
ksheridan Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Professional General Artist
That is valuable to know. I haven't watched the plush market particularly closely but I do see fox plushes sell here all the time. Do you think coyotes sell as fast as foxes?
Reply
:iconyukichana:
YukiChana Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
In my opinion it will :D and will he be a premade?
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:iconksheridan:
ksheridan Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Professional General Artist
Well yes, I will see how he turns out before selling him. And plus I may never want to let him go! :D
Reply
:iconyukichana:
YukiChana Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Sounds good haha XD And good luck to you!
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