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I think bird carvers car and pink birds because it is a challenge to reproduce nature and you'll never make it. There's always that subtle difference that you know was there and you just cannot get there. It just the hues of color not the shades but the more subtle hues are just not capable. Most of the carvers that we respect a great deal that we think that are really representative of their craft. Try to reproduce as faithfully as possible birds waterfowl birds of prey to a point where it's nice to look at. Nice to have nice to handle but mainly because it is a it's actually an expression much like people play the piano. I would imagine you paint any other artistic endeavor.
These people are authority they dedicated their their greater part of their lives to reproducing nature as best they can. Much like this James John abounded very dedicated people. You can tell you can pretty well tell by just looking at the heads the way the eyes the appearance of the face and the carriage of the head the expression the position of the head and so on each in there it's very slight but readily identifiable. Most of the cars that are worth anything that are considered amongst their contemporaries as being accomplished having been
once having once been hunters and this sparked a desire to reproduce nature after they become more intimately familiar with these birds their habitats their ways of living their feeding habits the way that they conduct themselves the community in which they live and exist. They become more intimate with these birds and they don't shoot them any more they don't kill them anymore because they become almost people to these cars. There are some cars who had a lot of necessary colors poses etc.. Strictly for I appeal and saleability to the carvers who really know what they're doing this is unnecessary. The true collector in a minute can spot a phony.
Every piece of work that is turned out by Carver that is a carver and a craftsman should be a reference piece a piece where he or she could say no this is what the bird really looks like. If we were lucky enough to get real close to it there are a lot of times when you're working on several birds at one time. And this of course is standard procedure you just cannot concentrate on one bird because believe it or not even though you love it a great daily gets a little tiresome and then you go from one to another and you refresh yourself so consequently you just can't have a love for a particular type of bird or a species is the one that you're working on at that time. And the reason you're working on is because you want to because you want to do the work.
Five years ago I was strictly a water fall man. But now I've gotten into the shorebirds and the songbird and this is opened a whole new field. And right now I don't know where my allegiance lies it's just something that you just have to do because the songbirds are just as indigenous to the United States and they're just as nice to have around and this is pleasant as your water falls so those you just got to do that not so I don't know anyone they can stick to one particular type of carving and say this is all I'm going to do because it's not possible. I had a friend of mine own coal that used to bring the little orders for small ducks when I was a boy from the office. That got me started in the commercial and I think I saw from 25 cents a
piece in those days that would keep me busy during the winter months. Place to be and I have a doctor. We used to make decoys and boats and things and started coughing from there and just the love birds each bird is an individual. Each bird is a character and if you watch a standpipe on the beach you you know simply pack along the run. I mean this this is the character of the bird which I do is make live through it you would this is this is the idea. You really got to observe the bird and I would say its always death to copy someone else's work. You copping then the stakes are so much people copping my neck upping my mistakes i like I think enough of them. I'm still of the quake so of that I don't do it for a living and I mean I don't do it commercially but I think to me it's a very enjoyable go in my shop when I am not pressed as far as. Cause the birds and just
knock out a diesel with myself for a pair of teal or some black ducks or something that that I can use myself to see how well they work. You know sometimes you think you've got a terrific burger or terrific product and it falls flat for some reason and at that particular time you can't see it that maybe six months or a year you know you'll see it. Each year it goes on I was trying to make a better burger I can you know every feather in buyer brush naturally a lot of some some artist use brushes I don't and a lot of them will use a brush technique to give the effect of feathers is there's a lot of different ways of doing it but I just have to be able facia and I just put every set it out that's all you know pretty much so. The painting is very very tedious and
usually I paint maybe about two hours and then I have to get up walk around I'll start carving or go for a walk or you know just do something. Say it's taken me 30 years to get know how to use oil and I have a set of acrylic in here but I never use in my. I try and I think here for because I work with wet wet all wet all the time and I like to paint pliable where acrylics dry so fish it's hard for me to control. You know I just I just don't like it and of course one would say so well he said one thing about oils the older it gets the better it looks. Well builds up a nice patina not be really interested in is just not a thing you know I know but I did you enjoy making little birds because they're very popular with the customers. People very much. I've been quite fortunate
in competition one several times. Competition manager makes him special to me. That's reason I felt the urge to burst a very small birds are more difficult to paint because the detail so small they're not particularly more difficult to car because the detail of the car of the tail is not much smaller but the paint detail is so much more. It makes it more difficult. Normally a miniature is anything that is less than half the life size anything smaller. Now there is one show in the country that specifies that you managers have to be three inches in height or last and that's regardless of how large the life size but it is so long. Three. If it were a bird of only four inches tall and you're very much you're talking about a blue heron. Quite a few years ago I used to do the course I started out making because
actually I got interested in cars and her car was making working decoys for my honey. And one night I started actually selling birds I was making work because selling getting wood good with such a problem anymore I just about stopped me. Why stop working. Which really except a few for friends of mine. But most of the better birds in more detail others are made of basswood which is linen Masterman. It's very close and it's fairly soft it's very close to details. Partial to docs I don't particularly favor. I do a lot of the colorful birds the things that customers want really you do more of them than what you really like. I do a lot of he'll put a few black ducks like that I like
sure. Sure it sounds the same pipers yellow legs. Personally I've always been interested in birds on it ever since I was a boy and I've always enjoyed being out in the outdoors. I never really considered myself officially a bird watcher but I've always enjoyed the wildlife you know so I just enjoy the birds enjoy doing. Let me say I started off when I was a kid and I guess about 12 I made a few working the Cowboys and then I made a few of the smaller things and people would say I'm you know and I don't want to bother. And sooner or later it and I started and it just progresses into the doctor thing because it wasn't too much market when I started doing it in the running to call it is
for the handmade ones because that era was pretty well over when I started in the plastic takeaway it was on the market. They're so much cheaper. Most of the things that I have done there's bars that are more or less native to this area. It's just better if you're familiar with. You can do a much better I like to do the little bird. Most of the things I did earlier were just mainly water file. Then I started to do a few other songbirds a lot of the game. But now I want to get just as much enjoyment from what you want the carving is really more manual labor to begin with it's just up a block of wood and you can be part of Iraq with Iran but the closer you get to be in Finnish and easier you have to go. Some news is cedar some uses white pine but the
bash would I work better for me. I like you better. It's got a much finer texture I don't have the coarse grain it will ruin somebody's work on you only deal with maybe 2 or 3 colors and some work on you deal with so many different shades it is so hard to do the actual body of the bar. It's mostly in pain. Can then in France as in a car do a lot of cars and it's by the detail on the car. Depends on just what you're trying to get around. Now there are sham the car. The complete bird. I'd rather do it with the painted gives a softer In fact I'm going to see a collector.
Yeah a sunny collection has been done here visiting all X's last year just been in recent years. We got three books last time we got to get on the watch car for. Do you have a lot of back orders. I don't take guard. I know I just don't think I need that.
Three days before the start of the start you know remorse that you were not there. Who me. Yeah. Yeah. If you're going on or shot at a flock of geese British want you want me right there within his reach. Do you wear shop directly in
Duck Carvers
Producing Organization
Maryland Public Television
Contributing Organization
Maryland Public Television (Owings Mills, Maryland)
Public Broadcasting Service Series NOLA
DUCA 000000
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Program Description
Program about woodcarvers who make duck carvings.
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Fine Arts
Media type
Moving Image
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Copyright Holder: MPT
Producing Organization: Maryland Public Television
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Maryland Public Television
Identifier: 32758.0 (MPT)
Format: U-matic
Generation: Master
Duration: 01:00:00?
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Chicago: “Duck Carvers,” 1980-06-17, Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 28, 2023,
MLA: “Duck Carvers.” 1980-06-17. Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 28, 2023. <>.
APA: Duck Carvers. Boston, MA: Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from