A pintail hen with a twist

Here's a pintail hen I did in September for trading competition held at the Columbia Flyway show in Vancouver, WA. In this contest, all the birds are thown into the pool, tested for self righting, and then judged for first second and third as normal. However, after the contest, the winner gets their selection of birds to keep, then second place gets their choice, and so on. I came in 4th place out of 12 or so entries. But this particular contest is about creativity and having some fun.  


It was my first hen pintail, and I was pretty pleased with how it came out. As for the twist, it's a miniature. Also my first (non-caricature) miniature decoy.  I've included a quarter for size reference.


California Open Results

I sent a couple mallards to the California Open show last weekend. They were both entered into the working decoy category. I didn't have anything quite ready for the IWCA Style contest. I took 1st and 2nd in mallards and the drake went on to win 2nd best of marsh. I don't have any pictures of the birds with ribbons on though because both of them were sold at the show. Now I need to get carving since I don't have any working birds ready for the pool contest at Westlake.

Here's a picture that I got from the show though. Thanks Grant

In-process mallards

I spent the weekend away from the workshop with the family. I did bring a few heads to carve and some almost finished birds with me though. This is a mallard that I needed to really spend some time giving a good sanding. At this point it's ready to seal up and paint, unless I decide to undercut those primaries.

The brown filler isn't really a mistake. It's more of a correction. I carved the edges of the primary feathers as a straight line tucked right into the side pockets. My friend Gary Hanson suggested that it would look better if I broke up that long, straight line by having the tertial feather hang over the edge of the primary. I agreed with him.

Here's a cork hen mallard I mounted the head on recently. This one just needs to have the neck cleaned up, and then a final sanding before it's ready to paint. I use a marine epoxy called WEST, which squeezes out of the neck joint and makes a mess when I clamp it, but it's super tough stuff and is really worth the clean-up effort. My plan is for this to be my first decoy painted in oils.

Saturday Night Painting

Here's a pretty unvarnished shot of the painting area of my workshop. It's a little cleaner than usual because I vacuumed today. It was at the point where I was tracking wood-chips all over the basement so I thought it was about time to clean up a little.

I snapped this picture as I was finishing up for the night on Saturday. I'm currently painting a three bird rig of mallards for a show coming up this summer. The quality isn't so great becuase it's just a snap from my iPhone, but I wanted to show it un-staged. I'll snap some better quality shots of the different areas of the workshop at a later date.

These are going to be detailed gunning birds. I spend a little more time painting than you might when you are painting an entire hunting spread. These are for competition though, so I like spending some extra time making them look a little better.

Over to the right, you can see a couple more mallards that I'm going to do in an IWCA style. The hen is carved and primed, but the drake has a way to go still. the head is about 80% complete. I just need to add the glass eyes. The body is only roughed out and needs quite a bit of work still.