I am a retired wildlife ecologist with a lifelong passion for the natural world – and a need to create.  I was born and grew up on Long Island’s south shore and so have always enjoyed birds and boats, everything about duck shooting, and all things – animals and plants – that live on the natural landscape. I adopted many of my passions and interests (and skills, too) from my Dad, Theodore (Ted) M. Sanford, Jr, of East Islip (1925 – 2011).

Sanford 4 - Pember

My wife and I live on an old farm in the rolling hills of Washington County, New York.  It is dairy country and we lease our fields to local farmers for corn and hay.  I retired in 2010 after a very fulfilling 35-year career in natural resource conservation, mostly with NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.  I built the shop/studio of my dreams shortly before I retired and am very fortunate to spend many of my days there  in creative pursuits – painting, carving, woodworking, building, repairing, restoring, et cetera, et cetera.  (The image below is the shop’s door handle – a half-size Tundra Swan head that I mated up with a  “repurposed” barn door latch.)   I also play on the landscape with my tractor or chainsaw as the spirit – and the seasons – move me.

Shop Handle December 2010

I live on an old farm because I want to be able to be in nature without having to get in a car and drive there.   I can walk out the door – or even just look or listen from inside – and be in touch with an abundance of living things.  I am thankful every day that we have been able to achieve our dream – and we try to savor all it has to offer.

Shop - Summer 2010

LOGO Butterball - small

20 thoughts on “About

  1. Steve
    Being retired like yourself and built my own work shop, its great to live life to the full, but one never stops learning and I think this challendge is what makes us more creative and better waterfowlers.
    You are a true crafts man in every sence of the word with a fantasric website

  2. Steve,Sent you a long reply but something won’t let me send to -www.stevenjaysanford.com—Is THIS a correct addess?? Al Hunt

  3. What a pleasure it was to meet you and Susan at the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont. I will look forward to visiting your studio in the not too distant future.

  4. It was a pleasure to visit your farm last year Steve. Kyle and I look forward to a longer stay next time. You are truly living the dream.

  5. better get those brant together fella–Saw a jag of them in Jamaica bay on the belt this weekend. Damn things were flying across the road from a wide gut, out into the bay on the trip home.

  6. Have you ever entered any of your carvings at The Ward World competition in Ocean City, Maryland? There are a couple/few categories where you would be a strong competitor.

  7. What is the largest wooden duck you make? Our daughter wants ppl to sign a wooden duck instead of a guest book at her wedding in May.

  8. Steven, i saw your post on painting buffies. It was great! I am using it as we chat.

    Our paths were similar, i worked 37 years in w conservation, first for KY then 23 years for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. I am now retired and have always wanted to hunt ducks over decoys i made with a dog I trained. At 69, i am teaching myself to carve decoys. My chessie definitely knows how to retrieve ducks if I can hit them!
    Do you have any other posts on painting other ducks? Specifically, I am looking at widgeon. Your widgeon decoy looks great!I

  9. Hello, Steve: Please note my email address. I would like to have one of your whimbrel carvings in my collection.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s