Whittled Wonders: Birds in Wood and Paint

Whittled Wonders: Birds in Wood and Paint

Julie Leibach
Published: 03/08/2010

“From working decoys to decorative sculpture, carvings of winged wildlife have figured prominently in the lives of bird hunters and bird lovers for more than a century,” writes Lynne Peeples in a review of Birds in Wood and Paint: American Miniature Bird Carvings and Their Carvers, 1900-1970. The book, by retired Goldman Sachs partner Joseph Ellis, concentrates on the post-decoy days, “when the whittled works shrank in size while broadening in their fan base.” In the video above, Ellis describes how he fell in love with these small avian wonders.

Below are a few images of bird carvings and their creators. For more, click here.

Pheasant pair and chicks, created by A.J. King. Courtesy of Joseph Ellis.


A.J. King. Courtesy of Joseph Ellis.


Barn owl, created by Harold Gibbs. Courtesy of Joseph Ellis.


Harold Gibbs. Photo by Al Brewster. Courtesy of Joseph Ellis.