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Krausman's

Wildlife Reference Photos and Woodcarving Studio

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Krausman's Online Seminars

2023 Seminar Schedule

Note on deposits and payments: To reserve your space, call or email us now! All you need is a $300 non-refundable deposit for any class. We still feel that it is imperative for 2023 to remain virtual for our students health and welfare because of the state of our world right now. Please make checks payable to Pam Krausman. If you have taken a virtual seminar you may take an additional $50 off each class. There are sample photos available for each class upon request.

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Keith Mueller
Class Description:

Innovative Drake Wood Duck Carving and Painting

Keith Mueller
  • Price: $1395
  • Kit Fee: $225
Class Description:

Introducing the Innovative Drake Wood Duck Carving and Painting Class!

Join us for an exciting and unique online carving and painting class hosted by Krausman's Woodcarving Studio. We are thrilled to present a new subject and style that we have never taught before, featuring one of the most beautiful and distinctive species of waterfowl: the drake Wood Duck!

The Wood Duck is not only known for its stunning and vibrant plumage but also considered one of the most magnificent ducks in the world. With iridescent greens, blues, and violets, its colors shimmer and captivate the eye. To showcase the bird's exceptional attributes, we have carefully selected a pose that highlights its coloration and distinctive shape.

In this class, you will have the opportunity to carve a resting drake Wood Duck in a relaxed position, with its wings dropped out of its side pockets. This innovative composition allows the carved duck to stand alone, without any habitat, creating a truly unique and captivating display. Imagine having this exquisite piece quietly relaxing on your table or mantle, showcasing its beautiful colors and unique profile.

The carving technique for this Wood Duck is referred to as a "textured" smoothie. You will learn to carve lifted and pronounced feathers, giving the bird a decorative appearance. The feathers' surface will remain smooth, but if you wish, you can add a burnt barb texture for added detail. Take a look at the supplied images of the drake Mallard to get an idea of what a "textured" smoothie looks like. The drake Wood Duck will be carved in a similar style.

The Wood Ducks will be painted using a combination of matte acrylics for achieving the iridescence and oils. You are free to choose your preferred medium, whether oils or acrylics, for painting your masterpiece. Our instructor, Keith, will guide you through the painting process, sharing his expertise and techniques to bring out the unique colors and beauty of the drake Wood Duck.

This class offers a fantastic opportunity to expand your carving and painting skills while creating an extraordinary piece of art. Whether you are a seasoned woodcarver or a beginner, Keith will provide step-by-step instructions and personalized guidance to help you achieve outstanding results.

To participate in this amazing class featuring the drake Wood Duck in this cool pose, simply enroll now! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us via email at jmkrausman@gmail.com or by calling (906) 238-4475. We are here to assist you.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to carve and paint one of nature's most stunning creations. Join us for the Drake Wood Duck Carving and Painting Class and let your creativity soar!


Carve/Paint an American Woodcock Decoy; Elmer Crowell Style Standing Black-bellied Plover Mantle Decoy

Keith Mueller
  • Price: $1045
  • Kit Fee: $225
Class Description:

A most exciting class that we have put together this year for you decoy carvers. We wanted to do something a little different this year and I think we have accomplished this! Because this class will be virtual, you will have the bonus of carving and painting two birds. You will also have the latitude to work on your decoys in a very relaxed and un-hurried time frame. You work at your own pace in your home studio.

First, a life-sized standing American Woodcock decoy. This Woodcock decoy will be carved like other traditional "stick-up" Shorebird decoys on a single wooden dowel. The Woodcock will be painted in oils in a classic decoy-style of painting including combing, scratching and stippling. This style of painting will pay tribute to the classic decoy painting tradition rather than the decorative style of painting!

The second bird will be a stand-up mantle carving style decoy of a Black-bellied Plover standing on a rock base. This Plover will be painted in oils in beautiful spring plumage (breeding plumage) in the manner and style of Elmer Crowell. This mantle carving will feature brass legs and feet that you will make and assemble using my easy method of soldering and epoxy - and a few of my tricks to complete the toes and feet.

Both the Woodcock and the Black-bellied Plover will be carved from Northern white cedar, the bills will be carved and inserted hardwood, and of course painted with oils. The kit contains the two Shorebird blanks, hardwood blanks for the bills, glass eyes, base blanks, hardwood dowel, brass rods for making the Plover's legs and feet.

Looking forward to seeing everyone for this innovative and exciting seminar!


The Art of Inserting Carved Feathers, Part 4 - Advanced Techniques in Feather Inserts, Contours, Structures, Articulation, and Movement

Keith Mueller
  • Price: $750
  • Kit Fee: $75
Class Description:

This class continues with more feather sophistication and realism where Feather Insert Class 3 left off. Classes 1, 2, and 3 taught you and offered you a glimpse and introduction into the fascinating and realistic application of individually carved and inserted feathers. The first three classes helped you develop a general understanding of the principles of inserting individual and clusters of basic feathers and understanding the critical feather anatomy and feather tracts. Combined with the skill of carving and inserting these feathers, and a comprehensive study of realistic feather articulation based on the anatomic feather tracts a successful insert regiment was realized.

Now its time to move beyond that with more advanced feather realism and visually dynamic insert applications. Feather insert classes 1, 2, and 3 gave you a glimpse into my methods and procedures with feathers that were carved with basic structure and surface contours. Part 4 will focus on feather barb configurations and movements such as splits, rolls, ripples, feather interactions and developing a visual theme to these important and realistic feather components and contours. Developing visually successful feather movements and contour continuity is not only an anatomical structure feature of the feathers, but it must also be artistically developed to be successful. Even the smallest of features from feather to feather are developed from fundamentals of dynamic composition and design. The same visual dynamics that are incorporated in the relationship between the subject bird and the base and the overall compositional theme are implemented and followed to the exciting movement of feathers, their contours and barbule activities.! Simply said……the feathers are not just recreated with casual details; all the details are developed to compliment and follow the dynamics of the design and the overall composition.

Part 4 will help you develop the “other part” of the inserting process; realism developed through visually dynamic artistic composition!

In this class, I will demonstrate all these techniques by recreating various sections of a bird species subject (to be named later) highlighting the primaries, tertials, secondaries, scapulars, tail and upper tail coverts and several areas of contour feathers. In all a very comprehensive class full of exciting and advanced techniques!

For this class, the use of holly wood is suggested, which you will need to acquire for yourselves. However, enough tupelo strips and blocks will be supplied to you for the class. If you choose to not use tupelo or furnish you own tupelo, just let Pam know at sign-up. A list of suggested sizes and pieces of Holly and dealers will also be furnished to you if needed so you will be prepared for the class.


Modern life-like drake Harlequin Duck gunning decoy

Keith Mueller
  • Price: $1045
  • Kit Fee: $250
Class Description:

This year, we are so happy to offer you an exciting class that will feature a modern style gunning drake Harlequin Duck. This decoy will feature all the features of a modern gunning decoy: realistic form, interesting posture, carved raised wings, speculum exposed ?out of the side pocket? to show off that glorious sapphire blue color, accurate bill, and many more exciting features! Although the decoy will project a real Harlequin Duck sitting on the sea, it will still remain faithful to the structural durability of a true gunning decoy!

Drake Harlequins are one of the most unique and beautiful species of the North American waterfowl. The striking slate-blue and chestnut colors and white and black markings of the drake makes this species stand alone in its handsome beauty. I personally spend quite a bit of time observing this magnificent species as they winter along the Rhode Island coast not too far from my studio. I have plenty of photo reference that can be used for this class.

This drake decoy will be carved with the idea that it will be used in your rig and put through the rigors of hunting conditions! The decoy will be carved from white cedar and will be hollowed, and of course painted with oil paints! The realism of this decoy continues with the painting techniques I will be demonstrating to you such as wet on wet blending in an individual feather by feather approach. Other techniques will include wet over tacky enhancements, detailing, feather splits, etc.!

An exciting feature to this decoy will be one of my signature distinctive components that I do to all my modern decoys: a beautiful red cedar panel will be inserted into the bottom of the decoy where the decoy will be hollowed from. When the decorative bottom plate is completed, we will add another one of my signature features: a hand-carved exotic wood keel!

If you carve with power, or your old carving knife, either technique will work for the making of this decoy!! Come with us and have fun carving one of the most unique and beautiful species of waterfowl in the US!!


Carving and Painting the Saw-whet Owl and Habitat

Jerry Simchuk
  • Price: $1395
  • Kit Fee: $175
Class Description:

Please join Jerry Simchuk, a renowned bird carver, Krausman's Video Class in your studio. Jerry will be teaching how to carve, paint, build habitat for a Northern Saw-whet Owl. The Saw-whet owl is a great owl to learn to carve given its small size and many people love this little owl.

Jerry is a Master Level carver at the Ward World Championships. He has won numerous Best of Show awards across the country. Not only is he a phenomenal sculptor but also a wonderful teacher. You can see from reading his articles in Wildfowl Carving Magazine that he is very thorough and detail oriented. Having seven of his birds grace the cover of Wildfowl Carving Magazine he will certainly raise your carving and painting to the next level.

During the 2008 Columbia Flyway Show in Vancouver, Washington. Jerry received Best of Show, Mayors Award, Carvers Choice, and People’s Choice Awards for his Saw-whet owl perched in pine.

This project would typically be a 10 plus day class; however you can spend as much time as you want to complete this project and learn every detailed step Jerry takes to create a competition quality sculpture.

During this video class there are many things you will learn: anatomy, carving techniques, feather groups, texturing, carving to help your painting, painting with acrylics, color layering, handling spots, blending, soft color transitions, adding more life to your paint, incorporating metal into your carvings, building your own habitat, artistic license, artistry & composition, and much more.

A kit can be purchased from Krausman's in advance of the class which includes the pattern, cutout and eyes. Also, Jerry has created a study cast which you can use to reference during the carving process as well as paint as practice before painting your carving. There is also a book available that can be used to take notes along the way and give you something to work with along with the video. The book and cast are available with the kit from Krausman's with advance notification.


Painting the Bufflehead Drake

Pat Godin
  • Price: $1195
  • Kit Fee: $175
Class Description:

In 2008 Pat Godin won the Best in World title for the Decorative Decoy Pairs. The drake of the pair had its head turned back with the body rolled slightly to the side and a leg pulled up, exposed on the left side. For this project the students will pre-carve the bird in preparation for painting. The carving will include the challenge of carving the foot and adding it to the body. Pat will provide detailed patterns for the head and body design and also the foot long with some reference images. In addition, Pat will put together a series of images showing the progression of the carving for this bird. Students can prepare their bird with either a decorative finish or as a smoothie.

Students will learn the principles and techniques of painting both monotone black and white color schemes that occur on many birds. In addition, there will be opportunities to use wet into wet blending techniques. The complex iridescence on the head of this bird will be accomplished by layering various colors using a stippling method. You also have the option of painting a casting from Sugar Pine which we can order for you.

The video clips for the painting will be prepared in Pat's painting studio.


Decorative Brook Trout and Working Decoy Wigglefish

Harley Ragan
  • Price: $300
  • Kit Fee: $100
Class Description:

This seminar by Harley Ragan will involve carving both a working fish decoy and a decorative competition level Brook Trout. Harley is a 5 time World Champion fish decoy carver and spear fisherman. In his 30 years of competing he has won many awards for his decoys and every winter tests his new creations spear fishing in the Upper Peninsula. He is most proud of spearing 2 Muskies , one 52” and one 56”.

The seminar will involve building 2 decoys from a supplied kit. The kits will include a wood cutout, metal fins, lead weights and hardware to complete each swimming decoy. Emphasis with the working decoy will be on correct movement of the decoy in order for it to swim correctly and therefore be an effective spearing decoy. I will carve , paint and show you my techniques for leading and swimming a decoy and properly sealing for preservation. Emphasis on the Decorative Brook Trout will be detail and likeness to the species. I will share with you my methods of carving, texturing and detail. Also correct line, tie, and fin placement. Most importantly correct placement of lead for proper swimming for competition. And finally painting procedure and techniques, airbrush and hand painting, to create a competitive decorative fish decoy. Both decoys can be either hand painted or airbrushed. I will demonstrate  both techniques. The working decoy will be the easier of the two. Over 50% of the workers I sell are red and white. That’s what the fishermen want.

I will emphasize value changes light to dark on the decoy to enhance the shape. I use a combination of both brush and airbrush and will demonstrate that. The seminar will be broken up in sort segments for your review. I looking forward to sharing my lifelong passion with you. Fish decoys are a functional art form and a part of American Folk Art that I would like to see preserved. Even if you do not live in ice country this can be a very fun and educational class for you to take.


Decorative, Life-Size, Flushing-into-Flight American Woodcock

Keith Mueller
  • Price: $1395
  • Kit Fee: $225
Class Description:

Options: With or without feather inserts.

Continuing again this year with the most comprehensive virtual art and sculpting experience designed to maximize your learning curve and skills. We offer you a cutting-edge, innovative and exciting seminar; a flushed American Woodcock bursting into flight! The elusive Woodcock are known to hold tight in the leaf litter of the forest floor until literally erupting into explosive flight right from under your feet! Classified as a shorebird, the Woodcock is actually a Game Bird sharing similar habitat as the Ruffed Grouse. Woodcock are also known as “Timberdoodles”, “Bog Bats” and “Feathered Helicopters”; a name derived from their flight habit of jumping straight up from the ground in flight like a helicopter taking off then flying horizontally when their desired height is reached.

This exciting and innovative seminar will feature an electrifying design showcasing a fully open-winged Woodcock flushing from the base fully suspended and supported by a couple of strategically placed and carved leaves. This dramatic design will give the feeling of weightless powerful flight capturing that thrilling moment in time! The breathtaking element of this composition is featuring feather dynamics that enhance and create the captivating animation of flight. To enhance the compelling rhythmic movement of feathers responding to aggressive wing motion, inserted feathers will be incorporated into this sculpture. These inserted feathers will capture the realism of escaping flight, add crucial natural air pressure interaction with the flight feathers, add that important visual understanding of the motion of flight, and most importantly, to heighten the visual appeal and elevate the artistic and sculptural level of the composition! OR….if you choose, you can carve this Woodcock without any added and inserted feathers, or with selected insert sections that you choose. This offers you a wide range of feathering possibilities for this bird, and a learning experience for advanced techniques if you decide to implement them!

To accomplish this theme of the quickly departing Woodcock, the main flight feathers will be inserted, the complete fanned tail will be inserted as well as randomly lifted tail coverts, scapulars and wing coverts. The separate bill which will be carved from holly, will also be inserted. These inserting techniques will repeat the methods I demonstrated in my virtual feather insert seminars parts 1, 2, 3 and (soon to be available- part 4), & the Feather Morphology Class. If you didn’t participate in these seminars, they are available from the Krausman’s. You could follow along with them in conjunction with the Woodcock seminar!

The Woodcock will be carved from tupelo. The body and head will be one piece, the wings will be carved separately and will be developed in two-part construction. As mentioned above, the main primaries including the Woodcock specific three narrow outermost primaries will be inserted featuring realistic replication adding curving, bending, rippling and twisting. This will heighten the animated flight. This dynamic will be repeated in the completely fanned tail and also in the randomly selected contour feathers. The inserted feathers will be made from holly. The Woodcock will be suspended from the base by a short section of stainless-steel wire hidden within the two lifted leaves. This whole composition will be a feast of a visual experience from its design, animation and a dynamic color palette! For this Woodcock I will be demonstrating a mixed-media approach using both acrylics and oil paint.

Because of the availability and expense of holly wood for this class, each student is required to be responsible for securing their own holly for this class. You will be furnished with a list of holly dealers and a minimal suggested list of the holly pieces that would be required which will only be a few pieces which would be easily obtained.

Come join us for an amazing art experience with an exciting bird sculpted in an exciting way!


Shoveler Drake

Pat Godin
  • Price: $1195
  • Kit Fee: $175
Class Description:

In this session we will be painting the Shoveler Drake. This bird has quite a wide range of feather styles in the color scheme. For example, there are some fairly monotone regions such as the white breast and dark black tail coverts with subtle iridescence. In other areas like the scapulars and tertial feathers we see dark feathers with light centers and other markings. The side feathers are a rich reddish-sienna tone with vermiculation along the top edge. When we look at the head it is very reminiscent of the mallard drake with vibrant green iridescence. Of course, the most distinctive feature is the “spoonie” shaped bill which will not be a great challenge to paint, but will certainly be interesting to carve.

So, there will be a lot of methods available to learn both conceptually and technically. Pat will be demonstrating his approach to developing shadow and highlight, hand brushing vermiculation, developing iridescent effects, and blending acrylic paints. The end result will be an absolutely spectacular bird.

Ahead of the session students will be provided an image CD that will include all the instructions necessary for the carving of the Shoveler Drake so that you can carve your bird through the year.


Blackburnian Warblers in Spring Habitat

Al Jordan
  • Price: $1395
  • Kit Fee: $200
Class Description:

For this year's class we have decided to veer away from raptors. The subject of this year's class will be a pair of Blackburnian Warblers in a spring setting. The male is a beautiful brightly-colored bird in prime spring plumage; the female is a bit more subdued, but still has much color. We will be carving the male singing for its partner while the female will be looking on with a curious look. The project requires the making of two sets of feet. This is a challenge for most of us, so much time will be spent on them. We will also be making a spring habitat. This will be done with a combination of brass sheeting and tubing. This will again be time consuming: learning much about metal working.

The project in reality exceeds a 12 plus day class. The advantage you have doing this virtually is that you can spend as much time as needed on every step! I am looking forward to working with all of you.


Feather Anatomy and Morphology

Keith Mueller
  • Price: $550
Class Description:

Creating a fully realistic decorative bird sculpture is a time-consuming and skill-testing adventure. Being able to reproduce a bird subject realistically requires discipline and drive. To ensure that your efforts are appropriately rewarded, recreating the bird as realistically as possible is essential for a successful outcome. And this includes the proper feather Morphology and anatomical features. Since all birds have anatomical features that are unique to that species and its family, special feather adaptations evolved to accommodate that species life style!

Using standardized and generic feather texturing techniques will not enhance the realism of your bird sculpture. In other words, using the same feather burning and texture techniques from bird to bird is wrong! The feather barbule network texture from species to species is different. The texture you use on an Owl is not the same as you would use on a hawk or a species of waterfowl. In fact, the texture varies within the species of Birds of Prey.

In this class, I will discuss and demonstrate the barbule network textures between four selected species of birds and how the Morphological differences differ from species to species. Then after this is discussed I will guide you through realistically reproducing the correct and proper variations of these barbule network textures in each feather.

For this class we will carve and correctly recreate the feather structures, margins, rachis and most importantly the barbule network on tertial feathers of these four species: Great Horned Owl, Red-tailed Hawk, Raven, and Mallard. For those who will be taking my virtual feather insert class, this will be a perfect companion class to further increase your cognitive understanding of a feathers Morphology and the added skills to reproduce a more realistic feather on your bird carvings!

For this class, Persimmon wood will be used for the carving of the feathers. The sap wood of Persimmon is off white in color with minimal noticeable grain. It is hard and strong and a good substitute for Holly and Dogwood. It retains texture and details well just like Holly and Dogwood. Persimmon feather blocks will be furnished for this class.


Carve/Paint Male Lifesize Short-Eared Owl

Al Jordan
  • Price: $1395
  • Kit Fee: $150
Class Description:

Join Al and bring to life a piece of Tupelo. Al has spent the better part of the last 20 years as a Master Falconer. During this time he has gained an intimate Knowledge of each of his carving subjects. You will soon discover that he has no secrets and plenty of knowledge to give. For the last 10 years each of his award winning competition pieces has been the result of a teaching seminar. This includes his 2017 lifesize 3rd Best in World and 2019 2nd Best in World miniature. He holds nothing back!

Join Master Falconer and Master Carver Al Jordan in carving a lifesize Short-earred Owl. The subject is a medium sized owl with gorgeous colorations and markings and found thru out the globe. As it is a diurnal owl, he will be introducing both light and shade. One of the keys to producing a quality carving of an owl is to accentuate the softness and airiness of the bird. Al is going to do this thru both texturing techniques as well as paint. There will be much emphasis placed on the painting. Use of both airbrush and hand brushing will be used and discussed in depth. There will also be much discussion of design and composition, as Al will discuss in depth bird carving as an art not a craft. He brings with him over 20 years as a Master Falconer and will stress in depth proper anatomy. He will hold nothing back, and will push you to the limits.


Carving Techniques Bonus

Pat Godin
Class Description:

Along with the instructions for painting the Blue-winged Teal Hen during the upcoming Krausman Studio session, Pat Godin will present a comprehensive series of video clips showing the techniques he has developed over his 50-year career to sculpt and detail feathers. The series will cover the basics as well as much more advanced methods to create realistic feathers in wood.

There will be a lot of discussion of the theory and principles of developing interesting and creative feather patterns. Advanced techniques will include methods of rendering various styles of texture to represent the different types of feathers we see within the bird and how we make logical decisions on what texture to apply to these different feathers. Also, Pat will discuss and demonstrate the steps required to develop the longitudinal and cross-sectional shape of feathers and how this can lead to the strategic undercutting of entire feathers or portions of them.

The instruction will not relate directly to the Blue-winged Teal Hen, but will show techniques that can be applied to any bird. Students can follow along with their own carvings, or just use this information as valuable knowledge for future carvings.

To view Pat's art and items available go to www.godinart.com.


Painting the Blue-winged Teal Hen

Pat Godin
  • Price: $1195
  • Kit Fee: $175
Class Description:

Many hens of the species of the marsh ducks are characterized by highly patterned feathers, an adaptation to camouflage them while they are nesting. The Blue-winged Teal Hen, a bird of great character, is an excellent example of this color scheme.

For this seminar Pat will be demonstrating his methods for developing the complex patterns of this bird. A number of blending techniques will be shown and the lessons will explain how they are used in a systematic way to soften the transitions of the light and dark feather patterns. There will be a number of opportunities to incorporate the illusions of translucence and highlight and shadow. Many of these techniques, once mastered, will be valuable tools that can be applied to the painting of a lot of other birds.

Especially important is building the character of the head and facial region with paint. There are ways to develop the feminine features of this bird by careful study and then application of the color scheme. In addition, much attention will be paid to the unique colors and patterns of the wing. This includes the subtle green iridescence of the secondary feathers and the soft blue of the wing coverts characteristic of this species. From a design perspective, the inclusion of a portion of the wing provides a strong focal point on this cryptic bird. Ahead of the session students will be provided an image CD that will include all the instructions necessary for the carving of the Blue-winged Teal Hen so that you can carve your bird over the winter or paint a casting in the seminar if you prefer.


Carve/Paint Double-crested or Great Cormorant Gunning-style Decoy

Keith Mueller
  • Price: $895
  • Kit Fee: $325
Class Description:

For this class you will have the choice to carve an animated preening Double-crested or Great Cormorant contemporary gunning-style decoy. The modern style Cormorant will be designed as a realistically inspired bird with life-like features such as an accurate bill with details, realistic head and eye expression, and artfully defined wings in their natural position. The decoys will be painted with oil paints featuring iridescent plumage feather-by-feather painting and blending. All aspects of my style of decoy painting will be discussed and demonstrated including paint and palette selection, color value mixing, mediums and diluents, brush selection and blending techniques. I will demonstrate both advanced feather blending and a similar simplified version depending on your skill and comfort level; your choice. The decoy will be carved by you in the comfort of your carving studio using my unique emailed instruction lessons. When you come to class, your decoys will be all carved and ready for six days of painting! This will be an exciting and innovative decoy painting class!


Tropical Pirate 1/3-size Flying Frigatebird Chasing a Red-billed Tropicbird

Keith Mueller
  • Price: $1395
  • Kit Fee: $475
Class Description:

This magnificence of the effortlessly agile flight of the pirate of the sky Magnificent Frigatebird is captured from a moment in time as it pursues its target; the Red-billed Tropicbird. This sculpture will feature a decorative/realistic third-size adult Frigatebird showing off it's brilliant iridescent plumage in close pursuit of the stream-lined Red-billed Tropicbird skimming the ocean waves. Frigatebirds are the masters of kleptoparasitism (aka pirating by stealing food items from other birds by long relentless chasing). The birds simply give up their fish or food items to the Frigatebirds to end the relentless chases. The Frigatebirds are all too happy to accept the gifts from the other birds!

Frigatebirds have a large wingspan measuring 6 feet or more. The Frigatebird in this class will showcase a wingspan of nearly 26 inches. For the convenience of painting this bird in class, and the transportation of this bird, the wings will be carved individually and temporarily attached to work on in class. I will demonstrate to you how to permanently attach the wings and complete the joint area when you return home from class and are in your own studio. The Frigatebird will be suspended in flight by the tip of the Tropicbird's long tail streamers! This will be accomplished with the use of a holly wood tail streamer with embedded steel wire (shown in the image). To recreate my advancing class theme of art as the most important design feature, the Tropicbird will be displayed as a conceptual artistic component to the overall design. It will be carved realistically in form and shape from an exotic wood (West Indian Cedar aka Cigar box Cedar) which is another visually dynamic feature to the tropical Caribbean theme to the sculpture. The Tropicbird will be finished with a smooth texture that is partially realistic changing to a ghosting fade to its painted plumage showing some areas of naturally finished cedar. The concept is to impart realism and sculptural art and imagination to the overall design; conceptual art developing into realism.

I will showcase and instruct the correct techniques of realistically feathering your Frigatebird. Correct and proper feather burning techniques will be instructed to realistically develop the nearly smooth surface of the Frigatebird's feathers. This class will feature the elements of Color Theory/Harmony, dynamic light-play, and artistic and sculptural design and concepts.

Mixed media of both acrylic and oil paints will be used for the painting of both the Frigatebird and Tropicbird. Correct, realistic and inspiring color mixing and painting techniques based on my unique and dynamic color harmony and mixing methods will be taught. Airbrushing will be featured in this class to produce the beautiful iridescence of the Frigatebird's plumage. Hand painting in both oils and acrylics will complete the painting of both birds. Your Frigatebirds and Tropicbirds will be carved at home in the comfort of your own workshop using my unique emailed carving instruction system with regular emailed step by step demo images and instructions. When you come to class, your birds will be all carved and ready to begin additional steps and painting.

You will learn to use and understand a dynamic color palette, advance your carving level, and feel inspired to challenge yourself! To understand my teaching theory and methods, my class is not a carve and paint and finish within a specified framework of time class. I teach complex and thought-provoking advanced techniques and theory. Because of the complexities of my class, I do not demonstrate simplified techniques for completion within an unrealistic time frame! My main focus is to help develop your individual and independent creativity and thinking through my methods of theory, fundamentals and artistic relationships. With all the copious amount of art theory and instruction, your creativity and skills will be profoundly enhanced in my classes. There is no pressure to finish your Frigatebird piece in class. You will have the luxury to continue what you will learn in class and finish your Frigatebird piece at your pace by your own hand in your own home in your comfortable and relaxed time frame. The result will be a realistically and artistically inspired Frigatebird carving made by you; not a hands-on replica of mine! Your creation will be a magnificent artistic sculpture created by you rather than just another carved bird!


The Art of Inserting Carved Feathers, Part 3

Keith Mueller
  • Price: $550
  • Kit Fee: $50
Class Description:

Introduction to Contour Feathers - Side Pockets and Scapulars. Part 3 picks up where Part 1 (and 2 - Primary Feathers of the tail and Wing) left off. The soft contour feathers of the bird's body are made up of feathers that have a different function and Morphology than the flight feathers such as the tail rectrices, primary remiges, and the secondaries.

Contour feathers are the "softer", less rigid feathers forming the bird's outer body covering, and the overlapping body feathers that produce the bird's smooth aerodynamic shape. They are also the feathers that cover the bases of the flight feathers such as the upper and lower tail coverts and the wing coverts.

The best example of the obvious functionality of the contour feathers are the side pockets (especially obvious on waterfowl) and the scapulars. To pick up where Parts 1 and 2 left off, I will be demonstrating and instructing how to use complete inserts, partial inserts, splicing and matching on two sections of a bird: a complete side pocket and a complete set of scapulars. I will demonstrate two types of inserting techniques and methods: 1) to completely build a scapular group by individual feather and small feather cluster inserts, and 2) to complete a complete side pocket section with individually inserted feathers and feather group cluster inserted sections matching the existing carved side pocket feather groups.

I consider this the next step to understanding the art of feather inserts as an innovative and dynamic addition to your bird carving skills.


Ring-Necked Duck Decoy

Keith Mueller
  • Price: $450
  • Kit Fee: $125
Class Description:
You will have the choice to carve your decoy in two styles; modern or traditional. Both styles will feature the drake Ring-necked Duck decoy carved in a classic eye-appealing diving duck sleeping position with tucked bill and angled-up tail. The modern style will be carved with competition style realistic features. The traditional style decoy will be carved in my classic Connecticut/Shang Wheeler style with similar but interpreted features. Both the modern and traditional decoys will feature rolled-out side pockets, defined feather groups, raised wing-tips, bill details. The modern Ring-necked decoy will feature a sculpted and carved hardwood keel. The traditional CT style decoy will feature the classic leather tongue line attachment and pear-shaped lead ballast weight.

The Art of Inserting Carved Feathers, Parts 1 and 2

Keith Mueller
  • Price: $450
Class Description:
I will be demonstrating the art of inserting carved feathers using tupelo wood. On my decorative bird carving, inserting feathers constitutes a major part of my bird subject development which I profoundly enjoy! I have made entire birds from inserting (nearly) each and every feather. However, the majority of my inserting work is done in the main feathering of the bird including the tail, primaries, tertials and scapulars, tail and wing coverts and scapulars. I will demonstrate my inserting techniques in two different methods. Each student will carve individual feathers under my guidance and specifications and learn the two methods that these feathers are inserted and added to the main bird carving. For the process, each student will carve small sections of a bird's feather group and begin the exciting inserting process using the feathers that you painstakingly carved in class. All aspects will be discussed including the theory of feathers and feather inserting, correct inserting choices, proper fitting of inserts, and finishing of the inserts.
You do have the option to stay into the decoy painting class session following this and paint your Ring-necked Duck decoy with Keith's guidance.

American Kestrel

Al Jordan
  • Price: $1395
  • Kit Fee: $225
Class Description:
Join Al and bring to life a piece of Tupelo. Al has spent the better part of the last 20 years as a Master Falconer. During this time he has gained an intimate Knowledge of each of his carving subjects. You will soon discover that he has no secrets and plenty of knowledge to give. For the last 10 years each of his award winning competition pieces has been the result of a teaching seminar. This includes his 2017 life size 3rd Best in World and 2019 2nd Best in World Miniature. He holds nothing back! The subject for this seminar is a life size American Kestrel (arguably North America's prettiest raptor). It will be screaming with mouth wide open, defending its latest meal. Not only are you carving the Kestrel, but making feet, a post, barbed wire and rusty nail. You as well have the option of adding the remains of its recent meal, the wing of an English Sparrow underfoot. Al will touch on all aspects of North America's smallest Falcon. Included but not limited to size, feathering of a falcon, colors and markings, age progression, male vs female, diet, habitat and so much more, as well as how all this applies to our art form. Painting in acrylics, he will touch on lighting, shadows, layering(translucence), advantages of an airbrush and more. Most importantly will be creation of realistic feathers both soft and flight through carving, texturing and painting. If all works out, Al will bring a live Kestrel to join us in class. What better reference can there be!
To view Al's art and items available go to www.ajordanbirds.com

Painting the Wood Duck Drake

Pat Godin
  • Price: $1195
  • Kit Fee: $175
Class Description:
This seminar with Seventeen-time World Champion Pat Godin will be entirely a painting session using acrylic paints. The subject will be the Wood Duck Drake, a beautiful bird full of iridescence. The students will either carve their own bird to paint on or can choose to paint on a casting of this bird by Dennis Schroeder. Pat will also provide a CD showing the carving of this particular bird for those wishing to carve their own bird. The Wood Duck Drake is a bird that has iridescent colors throughout the body. Pat will discuss the qualities of feathers that result in dramatic iridescent effects. The techniques for developing these colors will be shown, in addition to using paint to create illusions of three-dimensional shape in feathers. In addition to learning the technique to duplicate the illusion of iridescence, the students will learn methods of hand brushing vermiculation using a sable brush. Pat will be demonstrating his systematic approach to applying paint in a logical sequence to come up with an accurate result, a technique that can be applied to many species of waterfowl and other birds. Learning to create soft blends is very important on this bird. A number of methods of paint application and blending will be explored including dry brushing, wash blending, layering and staging of color values, accenting feather structure with painted barb detail, and airbrushing. Students will receive a CD showing the painting of the Wood Duck Drake along with a CD showing the carving stages of this particular bird. If you are going to have us do a carving kit for you which will include the CD, pattern, blank, eyes, study bill, and reference photos and shipping, the cost will be $175.00. Casting will be $75. To receive the painting portion of this seminar, you will have to pay for the seminar in full first which won't be available until just prior to the seminar.
To view Pat's art and items available go to godinart.com

Contemporary/Modern Cackling Goose

Keith Mueller
  • Price: $895
  • Kit Fee: $325
Class Description:
For this class you will have the choice to carve a Cackling Goose, or a Brant (Atlantic or Pacific) decoy. The modern style Cackling Goose and Brant will be designed as a realistically inspired bird with life-like features such as an accurate bill with details, realistic head and eye expression, raised wings, raised tertials and secondaries, and rolled-out side pockets. The decoys will be painted with oil paints featuring individual feather-by-feather painting and blending. All aspects to my style of decoy painting will be discussed and demonstrated including paint and palette selection, color value mixing, mediums and diluents, brush selection and blending techniques. I will demonstrate both advanced feather blending and a similar simplified version depending on your skill and comfort level; your choice. The decoy will be carved by you in the comfort of your carving studio using my unique emailed instruction lessons. When you come to class, your decoys will be all carved and ready for six days of painting! This will be an exciting decoy painting class!

Bald Eagle in an Animated Pose

Keith Mueller
  • Price: $1395
  • Kit Fee: $475
Class Description:
This magnificent decorative/realistic third-size male Bald Eagle (11 inches long) will feature a ready to fly posture with slightly opened wings that will be carved separately and inserted. Carving this Eagle with the inserted wings enables you to carve the bird with a realistic animated posture with wings that are raised off the back and tail. It also allows an open view under the slightly opened wings hinting at the underwing feathering and showing off the large slightly fanned tail (which will also be separately carved and inserted) giving the Eagle an important feeling of movement. What makes an Eagle an Eagle? I will showcase and instruct the correct techniques of realistically feathering your Eagle. This will include anatomy, pterylosis (feather tracts study), feather articulation, feather groupings and most importantly Eagle feather textures. Correct and proper feather burning techniques will be instructed to properly develop the smooth velvet surface of the Eagle's feathers. This class will feature the elements of Color Theory/Harmony, dynamic light-play, and artistic and sculptural design and concepts. Mixed media of both acrylic and oil paints will be used for the painting of this male Bald Eagle. Correct, realistic and inspiring color mixing and painting techniques based on my unique and dynamic color harmony and mixing methods will be taught. Your Eagles will be carved at home in the comfort of your own workshop using my unique emailed carving instruction system with regular emailed step by step demo images and instructions. When you come to class, your bird will be all carved and ready to begin finishing steps and painting. My inspiration for this Eagle came from a sighting I had on the coast of Maine while searching for Puffins. A majestic Eagle landed on a large granite boulder along the shoreline on an offshore island. I envision our Eagles perched atop the abstract granite form ready to launch into flight as the boat approached. The first two days of the class session will be designed around carving the feet and talons, starting the base perch design section and discussing compositional elements to your design. Each Eagle perch composition will be designed to your personal taste and inspired thoughts. While working on the feet and talons, and perch section, I will be reviewing everyones Eagle carvings allowing time for completion and/or adjustments before preparing the birds for painting. This leaves eight full days of painting; plenty of time to feel relaxed and not rushed! My class is designed as a complete and comprehensive learning experience for those who want to learn exceptional art fundamentals and techniques and to enhance and improve your carving and painting skills. You will learn to use and understand a dynamic color palette, advance your carving level, and feel inspired to challenge yourself! To understand my teaching theory and methods, my class is not a carve and paint and finish within a specified framework of time class. I teach complex and thought-provoking advanced techniques and theory. Because of the complexities of my class, I do not demonstrate simplified techniques for completion within an unrealistic time frame! My main focus is to help develop your individual and independent creativity and thinking through my methods of theory, fundamentals and artistic relationships. With all the copious amount of art theory and instruction, your creativity and skills will be profoundly enhanced in my classes. There is no pressure to finish your Eagle. You will have the freedom to explore the elements of art on your Eagle and have the luxury to create and finish your Bald Eagle at your pace by your own hand in class and in your own home in your comfortable and relaxed time frame. The result will be a realistically and artistically inspired Bald Eagle made by you; not a hands on replica of mine! Your finished Eagle will be a majestic artistic sculpture created by you rather than just another carved Eagle!