How it all began......
Alexander Bisseling tells here his own personal story! How he nearly 20 years ago
began and what has happened until now.
At a young age I already had a great interest in nature and with my grandfather I was always
looking for rocks and fossils in the area. With my family I spent most of the holidays in Austria
where it is very common to have stuffed animals which caught my attention.
One day, I think I was about 11 years old, I got some rabbit skins from the butcher next door which
I started to “ tan” . I didn’t came much further than simply drying the skins. Many experiments
failed until I met my chemistry teacher on high school who gave me books about tanning.
The foundation was made and with some pharmacy products together with chemicals from the
teacher, I succeeded to tan skins for real!
Tanning skins was nice but I wanted more. When I was 14 I found a dead Sparrow and tried
to mount it. I had obviously no experience and the result wasn’t very well.
I met other taxidermists who helped me a bit and I had to practice a lot!. The first bird
I did in a better way was a magpie. I still have this bird, it stands in a glass case in the shop.
In a magazine I red about taxidermy championships in the U.S.A. The World champion from that
time gave classes in mounting birds. I wanted to go to the U.S. to get trained by him! It was a lot of
money so I had to start saving! In June 1996 I had saved enough money to go to the U.S. and take
the classes. On the 7th of July I completed the course.
The certificate I received
for completing the training.
Patrick Rummans training me in
Dutch championships 1996.
This is the “ JokePheasant”
which received a third place
with the accompanied certificate.
The certificate stating the
chicropeacock received first place.
This is the magpie. My first bird
mounted in 1993.
My hobby became more serious. I started to sell a few things and got in a few orders.
The time was there to make decisions and I turned my hobby into my profession.
I needed to pick a name to work with. My name had to be part of it and of course the animals.
Rocks and minerals were ( and still are ) interesting to me and I wanted to do something with it.
This became Alexanders Animals and Stones, A.A.& S. for short.
A date to start was easy. Passion for animals so it had to be world animal day.
This is how I started my company A.A.&S. officially on October the 4th of 1997.
N.V.P. (Dutch Society of Taxidermists)
Since the day I started doing taxidermy I had been a member of the N.V.P. To become a full
member you have to pass the exam. On October 31st of 1998 I passed the test and became
a full member.
The certificate of the exam.
I was working in June 2000 when Reinout Oerlemans came to visit me. He came to see me
for his Program called “Heartbreak Hotel” and left a swan for me to mount. Some time later
I came in his show to bring him the swan. During the show I was invited to go to the U.S.A.
to get trained by one of the best all round taxidermists. I spent 6 weeks there in the summer
of 2000 and got back with a lot of knowledge of especially large game.
The swan I made for
The licence from
A friend of mine decided to start a taxidermy company in South-Africa from the ground up.
Quite a task and he asked me to help him getting started. So in 2005 I went to South-Africa
for the first time. Many more visits followed and now it is one of the leading companies of Africa.
Needless to say I got quite experienced in African game.
Together with other staff members
in our workshop.
N.V.P. ( Dutch Society of Taxidermists) 2006
The certificate stating I am
a N.V.P. certified taxidermist.
My company became bigger as well as the orders that came in. In 2005 I received a large
brown bear to make for the first time. It was 2,18 meters and a nice job. The newspaper
even wrote an article about it.
The article in the newspaper. On the
cover and continuing story inside.
Although I am rather in my shop making nice things, it came to me I had to do a bit more to seek
customers. I decided to go to a hunting show in Gent, Belgium to promote my small company.
This was a new and exciting challenge with good results.
The booth of A.A.& S. at the
Hunting show in Gent, Belgium
on March 24, 25 and 26 of 2006.
The certificate I received after
completing the training.
In 1999 I decided to enter again something into the championships.
A peacock pheasant this time. It won second place. The first place wasn’t recognized.
Dutch championships 1999.
The certificate on the left and
the bird itself at the right.
Dutch championships 1997.
The certificate I got
for the Rhea.
The results of the Dutch championships in 1996 encouraged me to enter a few pieces
again in the 1997 show. I made an other fantasy bird and with this I got a first place ribbon.
This is the chicropeacock
which won a first place
ribbon in 1997.
Letter of the commission to
confirm I completed the exam.
Time passed on and my business was doing well. On October 4th of 2007 I could celebrate
10 years of A.A.& S. We did this by giving demonstrations for three days. Even my workshop
was open and people could see me at work which I normally don’t like at all. This had been
in the newspapers and lots of people came to see it all. Even the mayor and Henk Westbroek came.
RTV Utrecht was filming and on the first day we had three life radio shows. It was a huge success!
was also enthusiast
about the result!
Pictures and newspaper articles of these three open days to celebrate 10 years of A.A.&S.
Every other year there is the Hunting show in the Flanders building in Gent, Belgium.
In 2008 it was held from April 11th till April 13th. This was the second time I had a booth
on this show and now I had more experience. This time the challenge was to make an even
better looking booth than last time. My South-African friend came over to promote his business
in my booth. It was a great combination which resulted in a bigger, good looking booth.
The Booth of A.A.& S. and Shingani
Safaris at the hunting show in Belgium.
A great diversity of animals attracted
lots of people to my booth.
Again a successful show in Belgium
on May 7, 8 and 9 of 2010.
The magpie is ready,
starting on the next bird.
Jacht- en Lifestyle fair Eindhoven 2012
This year the second edition of the Dutch hunting
and lifestyle fair was being held from September
21 till September 23, 2012.
After the success of 2011 I decided to return to
Eindhoven with a great booth at this show.
It was a great show and the atmosphere was
enjoying! A must for every one.
Carefully packing the van.
The final result of my booth.