Folk Art Decoys
I'm one of those strange people that enjoys winter . . . for the most part. With winter comes many hours on the ice, spear fishing, watching natures television.
I got introduced to spear fishing during college through a friend of mine whose father was a DNR warden and avid spear fisherman. I was amazed at all the custom gear that they used, especially the fish decoys. Each one was unique, hand carved, weighted to "swim", and beautifully painted.
Spearing is an ancient sport. Inuit carved decoys from walrus ivory 1,000 years ago. In 1763 a fur trader described Ojibwa Indians jigging decoys beneath the ice to lure lake trout.
It wasn't until years after I'd been introduced to spear fishing that I attempted to make my own decoy. Decoys are generally carved out of cedar, fins cut from heavy metal, the body cavity carefully weighted with melted lead, and then painted.
They're a number of very talented decoy carvers that make works of art that can look surreal. I hope to continue to work on bringing my talent to their level one day.