To carve great birds, you need to know their underlying structure, their habitat, and characteristics. You also need to know which tools work best, how to create specific features with those tools, and how to capture those magnificent colors that Mother Nature displays.
How do you do that? You learn from someone who has many […]


Class Etiquette

1. Never use another woodcarver’s tools without his or her permission.

2. Do not attempt to guide, critique or instruct another student unless asked to do so by the instructor.

3. Do not ask another student for instruction. Ask the instructor.

4. Give as much advance notice as you can when unable to attend a scheduled class. […]

By |January 20th, 2015|Articles|0 Comments|

About Reference Materials

Unless you have a live bird that will stand still while you measure it as if to fit it with a tailored suit,

you must use the most reliable pattern books you can find. Pat Godin is the most authoritative source on the

anatomy of a wide range of waterfowl. Overall I have found Pat […]

By |December 17th, 2014|Articles|0 Comments|

Photos by Vic Kirkman

From – Sylvan Bird Park – Member










By |November 17th, 2014|REFERENCE|1 Comment|

Current Online Course Schedule

Current Online Classes – EST

Tuesdays – 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Basic Beginners – Weekly Classes – (Paid by $85.00/month)

Wednesdays – 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Carving the Working Decoy – (Paid by the 12 week course. – $350.00)

Thursdays – 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Carving a Decorative Floating Decoy […]

By |September 8th, 2014|BLOG, NEWSLETTER|0 Comments|

The History of Decoys – (Wikipedia)

“Prehistoric waterfowl hunting.
Wild waterfowl have been hunted for food, down, and feathers worldwide since prehistoric times. Ducks, geese, and swans appear in European cave paintings from the last Ice Age, and a mural in the Ancient Egyptian tomb of Khum-Hotpe (c. 1900 BC) shows a man in a hunting blind capturing swimming ducks in […]

By |August 16th, 2014|Articles|0 Comments|

Karen Hess (Student Instructor)


Karen is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College where she majored in mathematics and computer science. She worked as a computer programmer and project manager for IBM for 33 years before retiring in 2007.
Karen first became interested in carving when she enrolled in a class at Sertoma Park after moving to Raleigh from […]

Vic Kirkman

About the Instructor:

Vic Kirkman is a North Carolina artist who works intensely to advance his skills creating realistic ducks. He carves all types of waterfowl, but emphasis is on the realistic decorative decoy carved for competitions held on the East and Gulf Coasts.

Even though Vic has been carving […]

Tupelo Wood

Tupelo Botanical Name

Tupelo is known by many names-black gum, sour gum, water tupelo, pepperidge swamp tupelo, bay poplar, olive tree, swamp gum, tupelo gum, cotton gum, and yellow gum. Historically, lumbermen and foresters have insisted on calling this tree gum; however, a gum fluid has never been associated with the tree. The title of […]