My affinity with waterfowl began in second grade. I entered Federal Junior Duck Stamp competition. This is a kindergarten through 12th grade scholarship art competition modeled after the competition that decides the conservation duck stamp for the year. I took an honorable mention that year and was hooked. My mother being a teacher at MVUHS and knowing some up and coming art students had a few students come to help me on my way, including artist Jon Young and illustrator Roxanne Vanslette. I earned a ribbon every year after with three best in state and one fifteenth in the nation my senior year. My carving started in middle school when an injury caused me to forego my hockey season. I picked up a decoy kit and over the next sixteen years slowly built a shop and sold decoys to cover the cost. Being an avid waterfowler the decoys I make are functional. The materials they are made from are traditional decoy materials, High Density cork, Black cork and White Cedar. The higher the detail the finer the material. Black cork is very porous, brittle and sometimes hard to work with. A Cedar tail, head and bottom board for support is needed. The benefit to Black cork is that it is light and floats very well and as for paint, because of the pores or gaps will limit you to a functional paint job that can easily be maintained through years of use. High density cork is a relatively new material and by name is denser and heavier. It carves very well with a knife and rasp and because of the much smaller pores lends itself to finer detail in carving and paint. This cork holds up well to hunting use and makes for a handsome decoy. I have just recently begun carving more decoys out of Eastern White Cedar. This wood has been the material of choice for many of the notable carvers on the eastern coast. It is known for its rot resistance, light weight and ease of availability and carving. I paint mostly in a durable flat acrylics which hold up well to use. With my new venture into all Cedar decoys I have begun using oils. Oil paint has been the traditional decoy paint for over one hundred years. It ages well, is durable and has richer hues as well as great blending and shading properties. The carving of duck decoys is a truly North American folk art form. Each carver developing a style and teaching others in their local how to carve. This created geographic "schools" of carving styles. There is a Lake Champlain style decoy, originated by Burlington carver George Bacon in the late 1800's. This style has been forgotten with the years but I will be making some replicas of his decoys in this style and of the materials and paint he used. With every decoy I see I am inspired to try to see a duck from that carvers eyes. Like any art form each line and stroke are unique to that personality. I have been told my decoys are full of attitude. I like to make fat puffed up decoys that are representative of the species at their peak plumage. I use a two part taxidermy epoxy to form the eye lids first and I paint over them during the process. After the decoy is complete I will scrape or peel the paint off from the glass eyes. The attitude and soul if you will of that decoy comes when I reveal the eyes. My future works will include a more interpretive style of carving. I will be focusing more on the flow of lines and the natural warmth of different woods to create pieces that are much less of function than form. I hope to display a broad range of my capabilities that will peak the interest of the wandering eye in the gallery, as I have done so in the marsh.