Carving a Mallard Head – Tutorial

I took the following pictures to document the process I use for carving a decoy head; it is also available on the duckboats.net website in their Carver’s Corner.

67 - Ready for a body   Mallard Drake - 2 May 2013 - closeup

Above left is the head ready for a body.  Although this Drake Mallard head was for a decorative decoy (some would insist I say “carving” instead…), I use the same process for gunning birds.

Mallard Drake - 2 May 2013 back

This bird is finished in oils.

As with all of my instructional posts, this is simply how I do it.  There are many ways to accomplish any job – and there is usually no one “right” way – but watching others is a time-honored way of learning and developing one’s one approach.  Sharing ideas is also an important part of our carving tradition.  So, I hope this is useful to you.

3 thoughts on “Carving a Mallard Head – Tutorial

  1. Steve,you have made successful decoy carving within the possibilities of the novice, like me! I appreciate and admire your concise and understandable teaching style. I’m excited about getting started using the techniques of “the master”. Thank you for sharing your great skill and enthusiasm!

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