Dave Pilkington - Taxidermist

Dave Pilkington - Taxidermist

What is your name?

Dave Pilkington

What is your job title?

Taxidermist

What secondary school did you attend?

Whitley Bay High School

Briefly describe your business

Mounting customer commissions as well as working on my own pieces to sell

Describe your career pathway after leaving school

After an early career in sales and retail. I returned to college and retrained as a photographer. After working as a press photographer, I joined the RSPCA, and from there eventually to work in enforcement for local authorities. While working for the RSPCA, I fulfilled a lifelong interest and decided to teach myself taxidermy, which I practised part time before becoming full time in 2019

What school subjects would be helpful to study to undertake your job?

  • Art
  • Biology
  • Maths

What is your favourite thing about the work that you do?

I love the creative side of the taxidermy art, as well as creating habitat displays, moulding and casting things

Why did you want to work in this industry?

I have always had a love of natural history and wildlife and wanted the flexibility to work for myself.

What daily duties do you carry out as part of your job?

Working on specimens which usually means skilling and mounting birds and mammals

Did you ever want to pursue another job?

My other love is photography which I still get to do

What skills are required to do this job?

Dexterity, a creative mind as well as joinery work and craft type skills

What is your advice to young people who are considering working in this sector?

Watch videos, read books and magazines. Join the Guild for Taxidermists. Study wildlife in the natural world

Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years’ time in terms of your career?

Still working and helping the Guild

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