Making Decoys, and Carving Small Animals

Carving Waterfowl and Decoys
Decoys, waterfowl, and water creatures are very popular areas in which to carve. Simple decoys can be easy to product, and will all you to gain the experience needed to make more realistic animals as you gain experience.

Making a Simple Decoy

So you want to make a decoy duck. Do you have a piece of wood laying around that's 5" X 8" X 15"? Well, I didn't think so. Can you go down to your local lumber store and pick up a piece that size? I didn't think so.  So go to your local lumber store and buy a piece of framing lumber 2" X 10" X 8 foot long. It must be straight, not bowed or warped. Most framing lumber is some type of pine. Sight down the length of it and then across the width of it. Is it bowed? If so pick another one.

Beginner Wildfowl Carver Advice

For the Beginner Wildfowl Carver... Get the Right Start A Dozen Things You Need To Know.

Laurie Lundell Gmyrek, Loon Lady

In 1984, Laurie Lundell Gmyrek (say Guh-mer'rick) was planning to attend her first professional woodcarving seminar. She didn't have the cash, so she taught 12 beginners to carve ducks from blanks using a sheet rock knife. Those students paid for the seminar and enough to purchase power tools.

Simple Seahorse Sculpture

The seahorse project came about from the need to find a use for a quantity of offcuts, and shouldn't take more than 4-6 hours, depending on the size you opt for. The design is that of a standard seahorse, but I have given mine a normal horse head.

Pintail Drake

For this carving I used a bargain piece of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) from my local garden center and although it wasn't quarter-sawn - which would have been ideal - it was at least cut away from the tree's heart. There are not many options with this type of wood; you can't do anything small or detailed so you have to play to its features. The grain is wide so to keep the scale right, you need to carve a big duck or goose, plus the grain will show through a painted finish so don't try to hide it - bring it to the fore.

Techniques for Carving Netsuke

Many people associate the tiny toggle carvings of Netsuke exclusively with ivory. In fact a huge number of these were, and are, carved from a variety of woods: mostly fruit or boxwood. To the woodcarver something as small as these that can be largely carved with traditional techniques, is a wonderful opportunity to explore original design, getting away from the common habit of 'copying'.

How to Carve a Stunning Greater Scaup Hen

The first step in any carving - long before putting hands to wood - is research and the collection of as much reference material you can, including observation of the living creature wherever possible. We all know that birds come in different sizes, as do humans, but in this decorative art form we tend to work to common sizes within the species, and a carving decorative has to be millimeter perfect.

Wood Duck Carver

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