You are on page 1of 2

Original text: You have expressed an interest in the process used to carve detailed feathers on realistic duck decoys.

The tools used are the same ones needed to prepare the carving up to this point: flexible-shaft grinder, stone bits, soft rubber sanding disc, pencil, and knife. My intention is to explain the ease with which mastery of this process can be achieved. There are five steps involved: drawing, outlining, and concaving the feathers, stone carving the quill, and grinding the barbs. The key to drawing the feathers is research. Good-quality references have been used in getting the carving to this stage and they will prove invaluable here. When comfortable with the basic knowledge of placement and types of feathers, drawing can begin. As with the actual carving, drawing should be done in a systematic manner. All feathers should be drawn in from front to back and top to bottom. Drawing should be done lightly so that changes can be made if necessary. All of the other steps are determined by what is done here, so the carver must be satisfied before beginning. Outlining creates a lap effect similar to fish scales or the shingles on a house. The carver uses the flexible-shaft grinder and a tapered aluminum-oxide bit to achieve the fish scale effect. The carver starts at the front and works toward the back using the lines that were drawn as guides. Each feather is tapered from a depth of about 1/32 inch at the lines up to the original height of the carving. This step also works toward a shingle effect. Concaving by the artist is nothing more than using the soft rubber sanding disc and gently cupping each feather toward the quill (center) area. The carver only uses slight sweeping motions with the disc to achieve good results at this phase. Concaving starts at the back outside edge of each feather and proceeds toward the tips. In stone carving the quill, the carver uses the aluminum-oxide bit and flexible-shaft grinder to raise and outline the quill area. As with all of the other steps, none of the procedures should be exaggerated. The goal is to make everything as life-like as possible. The carver grinds the barbs to match as closely as possible the hair-like structures of the feather using the same stone and grinder that were used in carving the quill. Actual feathers are used to get the exact angles needed for realism. Gentle sweeping motions are used, starting at the quill and moving toward the outside edge. Using only the tip of the stone creates the desired effects. When finished, the carver uses a loose wire wheel to remove any unwanted hair-like matter on the surface of the carved areas. Corrected Document There are five steps involved in carving feathers for duck decoys: drawing, outlining, concaving the feathers, stone carving the quill, and grinding the barbs. The tools used include: a flexible-shaft grinder, stone bits, a soft rubber sanding disc, a pencil, and a knife. The key to drawing the feathers is research. Begin drawing when basic knowledge of placement and types of feathers are understood. Drawing should be done in a systematic manner. The feathers should be drawn lightly, so corrections can be made, from front to back and top to bottom. To outline the feather, start at the front and works toward the back using the lines that were drawn as guides. Each feather is tapered from a depth of about 1/32 inch at the lines up to the original height of the carving. Concave the feathers by using the soft rubber sanding disc, gently cupping each feather toward the quill (center) area using only slight sweeping motions. Concaving starts at the back outside edge of each feather and proceeds toward the tips.

Use the aluminum-oxide bit and flexible-shaft grinder to grind the barbs to accurately depict the hair-like structures of the feather; use an actual feather as a reference to provide the exact angles needed for realism. Utilizing gentle sweeping motions with only the tip of the stone, start grinding at the quill and move toward the outside edges. When finished, use a loose wire wheel to remove any unwanted matter on the surface of the carved areas.

Related Interests