Sunday, July 19, 2009

Decoy Carving in Clayton, NY

Carving intrigues me, both because I love anything skillfully crafted by hand, whatever the medium -- and because carvers range from utilitarian to artistic. A number of them gathered for the 41st Annual Decoy & Wildlife Art Show in Clayton, NY this weekend. Since my husband is an outdoorsman, hunter and fisherman and I love wildlife paintings and carvings, we both had a great time.

Isn't this old carving bench a beauty? A pile of carved duck decoy bodies have piled up next to it; the carver was taking a well deserved lunch break.

Ingeniously, contemporary carvers carve over these sawdust vacuums. While wood chips and dust still accumulate, it certainly helps decrease them, which has to be healthier for a carver. As you can see from the image, this gentleman is mounting the heads onto the carved bodies.

We bought a wonderful hand painted collector's piece from Linda Ferguson in Woodville, NY. Linda does exquisite painting on these carvings.

A collector's estate auction drew us outside at 1 PM and although we both swore we would be very self-controlled, we ended up buying -- and spending!! -- more than we intended. I totally fell in love with a vintage framed Remington poster and went way over the amount I intended to bid for it. But we hung it up at our cottage and I still love it anyway -- maybe even more now that I've invested money in it!!

Another favorite stop for me when we go to Clayton is the Thousand Island Arts Center home of the Handweaving Museum, which has a collection of over 1,400 handwoven items. Currently on display there is a very nice juried exhibition, "Along the Rivers Edge," that runs through August 28. If you get to the area, stop in and see it.

Bob's sister and brother-in-law live in about a half hour outside of Clayton, so they met us Friday evening at the quaint Wellesley Hotel, built in 1903, on Wellesley Island (Thousand Island Park) for dinner.

We visited them on Saturday and got updated on the progress of the new home they're building (Jim is doing ALL the work himself!) on a solid rock ledge over the gorgeous St. Lawrence River. It will be a beauty when he finishes it.

Imagine having this view outside your window every day!

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