In 1990, while recovering from a back injury, I carved my first bird, a miniature wood duck based on a magazine picture. I had worked with wood, from boat models and airplanes to construction and antique home restoration; so intrigued, I glued two pieces of mahogany together and began whittling. Upon completion, I was approached to sell it. That first wood duck led to carving life sized, life like floating decorative decoys competitively, and I won several awards.
I developed a passion for birds and became an avid birder. As such, I found great joy in creating that
which I am passionate about, that is, song birds and birds of prey along with the waterfowl. I carve these creatures not only for their beauty and diversity, but to gain a better understanding of the world (ours and theirs) and its value, because "breathing life" into each carving requires research as to the specie's anatomy, habitat, behavior, etcetera.
I enjoy using various materials and simplifying the habitat. Like a photograph where the subject is in perfect focus and the background, although important, fades out somewhat, the habitat is interpretive. Each sculpture is one-of-a-kind.
The birds are generally carved from basswood or tupelo. The habitat materials vary but often include leather, copper, natural woods and stone. Some birds are left natural to show the detail of carving while others are painted. Quality hand selected materials are used including taxidermy grade glass eyes and sometimes cast pewter feet.
Expounding on habitats, I found blooms and vegetation to be a natural addition to my art. They are carved from domestic and exotic hardwood; the details are often left to the imagination.
Additionally, I have a fondness for leathercraft. Exploring my heritage, I often use Celtic designs in the creation of purses, briefcases, back packs, and sporrans (Gaelic for the purse that a kilted man wears). Hand crafted leather goods are also one of a kind, and the purchaser can enjoy a quality, styled product that will last a lifetime.
I hope that my art brings the bearer closer to nature in his or her own way.