Colorado state show. He believes that he is the taxidermist that he is today because of his experiences in competition. Helpful criticism and the educational aspects of competition helped the quality of his work by grow by leaps and bounds. Tom has won a lot of prestigious awards over the years, but he feels that there is no greater award or accomplishment than to have your work chosen by your peers to be the best. This is one of the reasons that winning 2 Artisan awards is so special to him. Tom says that the fact it was sculpted by Ken Walker and having Ken’s work among his awards only adds to the honor.
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Tom began competing in 1991 at the
The UTA grew from the need for unity and professionalism within the taxidermy industry. In art, unity occurs when all of the elements combine to make a balanced, harmonious, complete whole. The UTA creates that unity, a place for all individuals to come together for the betterment of the industry and those that support it.
It’s no coincidence that the UTA starts with You! Be a part of the most positive new force in taxidermy. Join the United Taxidermist Association today. www.unitedtaxidermyassociation.com
May 3, 2013 | Artisan
Tom Weickum came from a hunting a fishing family, but that’s not what got him into the field of taxidermy. Tom’s interest in taxidermy began at the age of 6 when an ad in the back of Boys Life magazine for the Northwestern School of Taxidermy sparked his imagination.
Years later, in the fifth grade, Tom recalls career days in elementary school where students could go on field trips to explore their interests in various careers. Tom took his class to Frontier Taxidermy, a local shop just down the street from his school. The taxidermists at Frontier were receptive to the interest of a young boy and it was there that Tom immersed himself in the art form that would later become his career.
Tom worked at the shop after his high school graduation in 1982 and remained there for the next 9 years. His initial duties included making paper mache taxidermy forms then he moved on to doing finish work for the five taxidermists at Frontier. Tom quit working at the local shop to finish his degree in engineering. With only a couple of semesters to go, thinking he would do a little taxidermy on the side to make money while he was in college, Tom started Rocky Mountain Artworks and never looked back.
Sculpting forms took Tom in a different direction in his field. Prior to 1995, a good portion of Tom’s taxidermy business was bison, mounting more than 40 bison in a year. This led him to sculpting a line of bison forms, which are carried by McKenzie Taxidermy Supply today. Tom’s next endeavors included mule deer and antelope forms that have been sold by Research and Trufitt. Furthering his interest in form sculpting, Tom went on his first African safari in 1999. He returned to Africa in 2001 where he began doing death casts off of the carcasses of African specimens. Those forms are available through Research Mannikins.
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The United Taxidermist Association is an international organization with thousands of members worldwide. We have no boundaries. Our vision is to unite, promote, and champion the needs of taxidermists and those that support and strengthen us where ever we are.