Stoop Story 03: Fish Fisher
The Architect’s Wife has always been focused internally on showcasing our showroom space and the artists, creators, or makers within it. But given the current circumstances, we’re learning to shift our focus and connect with people in new ways. More importantly, we want to shine a light on craftspeople and the creativity they contribute to our community. In this series which we’ve dubbed “Stoop Stories”, The Architect’s Wife visits friends and makers to share how they’re staying in/spired.
Let us introduce you to Fish Fisher – an avid outdoorsman with over 30 years experience creating functional antler art. Fish’s Antler Art has become a family business with his oldest son Riley working along side him from his shop in Bozeman, Montana. All of Fish’s pieces use genuine antlers which have been shed by moose, elk, fallow deer, red deer, whitetail and mule deer and caribou. Over the years, Fish has created various antler chandeliers for The Architect’s Wife.
How did you end up in Montana?
I was originally a Wisconsin farm boy. I graduated in 1980 and then hitch hiked around the world. When I found Montana in 1985, I knew it was my place and never left.
Tell us what you do. How did you fall into your craft?
Lots of mediums – I carve, weld, wood work, but antler art is my passion! I especially enjoy making antler chandeliers. Functional art.
What’s your process?
March, April, May are big antler months. I’ll have guys [hunters] bring in their antlers and I’ll either buy, sell, or trade depending on what I need for crafts. I’m always organizing the antlers that I have by lefts or rights, by size, or grade. To make a very good product, you need to have a lot to pick from.
Tell us about a favorite project you’ve done.
People come to visit Montana and want a piece of Montana back in their home wherever that may be. We [Fish and his son Riley] built a big 7′ x 7′ chandelier for folks in the Philippines. So, we built it, took a photo of it, broke it down and took it all apart, put it in two big containers, shipped it over there, flew ourselves over there to assemble it right in their place. Then we said ‘thanks’ and took off to an island to explore. We rented motorcycles, just my boy and I, and went through the country.
What was your first ever job?
I carved an eagle head on a moose antler in 1990. Every one is numbered. I’m now on #170.
What have you been up to during quarantine?
Antler hunting [a great social distancing activity] and creating NEW designs!
What’s something you’ve been working on your excited about?
Very wild looking caribou chandelier. Free flowing! New style of light sockets and bulbs.
What’s something one might not know about you?
I sell a lot of taxidermy mounts also: moose, elk , mountain lions, mountain goats, buffalo, bear, bighorn sheep, bison rugs, bear rugs, mountain lion rugs, etc..
Anything else you’d like to share?
Always serve the client better than anyone else is! Love what you’re doing and you’ll never have to work for a living because it will never feel like work.
The Architect’s Wife is focused on sharing togetherness, inspired spaces, and warmth in any capacity we can generate it. Here we shine a light on craftspeople and the creativity they contribute to our community.