Learn how to wood carve your own Ice Fishing Decoy, a free wood carving project by Lora S Irish. Folk art fish decoys can become much more than realistic wood carvings of minnows and fishing bait. This gallery of wood carvings by Lora Irish offers more samples of what you could do with your own whittled fish decoy.
With copper sheet fins, this 6″ long by 2 1/2″ high fish decoy has a simple relief carved daisy pattern along the sides of its boy. After the body was shaped the daisy pattern was traced. Using a v-gouge, round gouge, and straight chisel the petals and leaves of the daisy were layered to create the 3-d effect of the design. Watercolors were added to paint the daisy carving and the facial area of the decoy.
I love chip carving but don’t have the opportunity to practice as much as I would like. So I often do small practice pieces before I begin a large project. This little fish decoy, 4 1/2″ long by 3 1/2″ high, made a perfect practice piece for a chip carved star pattern.
Once you begin whittling fish decoys you will soon expand your work into new designs. This carving is a sectional dragon with copper sheet wings, glass bead eyes, and peacock feather tail decoration. The three body sections were worked individually, then connected using hook and eyes.
Fish bodies can quickly transform into bird bodies and fins become wings. This robin was carved from a 2″ wide by 4″ long basswood block. The beak, wings, and tail are made from 30-gauge copper sheets. A simple u-turn of copper wire becomes the hanging hook.
A 1″ x 1″ x 1/2″ basswood block became the shell for this copper headed box turtle. Two flat disk beads were added to become eyes. Add a copper tail and four legs with v-cut toes and this turtle is ready to paint.
Can’t decide which one to carve. Try this minnow and craw fish used three miniature wood carved fish decoys – a yellow minnow, a striped catfish, and a red and deep green crawl fish. Two gnarled sticks were hot glued to the particle board picture frame. Lily leaves and stems, large palm leaves, and tightly curled accents were made from copper sheeting then darkened using liver of sulfur. These copper elements plus two mid-sized river stones were glued into place. The final step of this fun project was to add the three wood carved fish decoys.
Learn folk art ice fishing decoy carving with this in-depth step-by-step project taught by Lora S. Irish. This sixty page e-book includes an introduction to the history of ice fishing decoys, the six basic carving cuts needed to create these fun fish, and two complete projects. Complete your decoy with the painting steps and by creating a simple wire hanger. 60 pages of instructions, patterns, and ideas included are 20 small decoys patterns with fin variations, 4 long minnow decoy patterns, and 21 large full-sized decoy patterns accompanied by full-colored photos of the carved samples. Comes in Adobe Reader .pdf format!