Sunday, July 1, 2018

Mounting a Life Size Stone Sheep

Here's another completed project. Below, Garry narrates the process for mounting this Stone Sheep from British Columbia. You can see by the many other projects in the shop photos, that he's been very busy! 

Finished Stone Sheep Mount
This Stone Sheep was harvested in British Columbia by a client who is creating a display of life size mounts of his "Grand Slam" of sheep of North America. The "Grand Slam" is a collection of four North American sheep, and includes the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, The Desert Bighorn Sheep, The Stone Sheep from British Columbia and the Dall Sheep from Alaska, Yukon and Northwest Territories. 

This sheep was shot in the neck with the bullet exiting the left side of the face. There was major damage to the skin, which needed to be repaired. The client called me from British Columbia explaining the damage and was worried about having it repaired. I told him that if all the pieces were there, I would probably be able to fit it all together. 

The skin was tanned at  Carolina Fur Dressing and Rick Morgan's crew did a great job of working around the damaged areas. It was like a jigsaw puzzle putting this all together. It took about four hours to arrange the skin in its proper position, trying it on the mannikin and checking hair patterns. I was pleased with the repairs and I have mounted sheep with more damage and scars from fighting. The mannikin and artificial rock were purchased from  McKenzie Taxidermy Supply Company. 

Mannikin attached to artificial rock. 

Damage from bullet exit wound below left eye.

Sewing the damaged face and checking hair patterns. 

Sewing the tanned skin

Repairs completed.

Mannikin didn't need much alteration.

Relief cuts were made in the groin area of the mannikin.
A dorsal cut was used so the skin will be applied to the mannikin on its back. 

Gluing the legs

Skin is positioned and I started to sew the seams. 

Leg seams are sewn and threaded rods will anchor the mount to the rock.
Testicles are carved from styrofoam. 

Glue applied to the mannikin. 

Skin pulled into proper position.

Face skin lowered while eyes are set into position. 

Horns are affixed with Bondo to the skull and the skullcap is affixed to the mannikin with screws and Bondo. 

Eyes are set in clay and nose detail is sculpted in clay. 

Skin is positioned on mannikin and the full length dorsal incision is sewn. 

Pins are put in place in depressions to hold the skin while drying.
Face detail is also pinned.  

After drying, detail work is finished around the face and feet. 

Finished mount showing where damage on the face was repaired. 

The mount, including the artificial rock, was created to be
hung on a wall when complete. 
Dall Sheep from Northwest Territories, for the same client.

Rock Base created by Dale Manning of Habitat Rock, Missoula, Montana