Jim became a bird carver
in 1992, concentrating mainly on birds of prey. He has mastered what is
referred to as decorative style bird carving and has won numerous awards, including
Category, First in Division, and Best in Show, in the prestigious Ward World
Championship Wildfowl Carving Competition in Ocean City, MD.
Many people ask how he
became a bird carver. Jimís wife Vivian and he have shared a love of birds for
many years. They participate in banding songbirds as they migrate each spring
and fall. They have also spent a great deal of time counting nesting raptors
for the Cornell University School of Ornithology. This quality time, up close
and personal, with various species of birds has given them the opportunity to
gather a great deal of reference material from which Jim bases his bird carvings.
More recently, Jim and Vivian have taken up sea kayaking and Jim has since begun
researching and carving both shore birds and sea birds.
The inspiration to do a
particular piece usually comes from countless hours observing the subject in the
wild. Great attention is paid to accuracy, as well as artistic presentation and
each piece is a one of a kind, unique, work of art.
When Jim first became a bird carver he was carving his birds out of Basswood, but has since changed to using Tupelo Gum wood, from the bayous of Louisiana. The wood that he uses is actually from the part of the tree that grows below the water and is therefore extremely dense and uniform in grain. Each spring Jim drives south and returns with a load of wood from Curt's Waterfowl Corner. These large blocks need to be air-dried 4-5 years prior to carving in order to insure directional stability in the wood. By using Tupelo, Jim is able to carve the intricate detail, which is required to achieve the realism he demands in his artwork. For the most realistic eyes Jim uses only those from Tohickon.
Jim has added a screech owl nest box camera to this site as he continues to gather in depth knowledge of their behavior in preparation for a future carving. Hope you enjoy the site.
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Revised: November 25, 2007 .