From the tiny birds that run on
the mud flats, to the little birds running before the waves on the
incoming tide, to the stately long-billed birds feeding in tide pools -- these are the sandpipers, a
diverse group of shorebirds with a shapes and sizes to please every bird lover. View the photos
below to see the variety of sandpipers Matt has carved. If you can't find your favorite, be assured
that in most cases Matt can carve it for you.
|The Long Billed Curlew is one of the larger sandpipers and one of the least common. This special request is an exceptionally well proportioned miniature that Matt now wishes he had put legs on. The painting is especially fine, both in tones and pattern. A carving of this quality (with legs) would cost $350 for either a miniature or a full-size carving . If done without legs it would be of lesser quality in general and cost less. You can name your price and Matt will accommodate you accordingly.|
|Another curlew, quite commonly seen, is the Hudsonian
Curlew, also known as the Whimbrel. It's about
three quarters the
size of the Long-Billed Curlew and has
a less spectacular bill. The feathers here are carved in relief, including the delicate raised wing tips. The total length of the
bird is somewhat over a foot (plus the bill). Matt prefers to put legs on a fine carving like this. It's cost with legs would be $350. If you would like less detail, discuss the price with Matt.
The two photos below show the
in summer (top left) and winter (remaining 3) plumages. The difference
that the use of legs makes is obvious in these photos. Although all
carvings are of the same fine quality, the ones with legs are so much more
$300 is the price of either of these very fine carvings (with legs).
Matt will do a less expensive carving of this species without legs and
with less detail. The Sanderling, incidentally, is the small
bird one sees fleeing from oncoming waves as it feeds
on sandy beaches, and is beloved by any beachgoer who notices birds.
" ... what a beautiful job you did on our sanderling ... it's as real as
I've ever seen."
|The Semipalmated Sandpiper is one of the peeps, the small species that frequent mud flats. To most observers the peeps are all pretty much alike, and most carvers don't distinguish them. However, any carving that Matt carves and paints can be positively identified by experienced birders. The one shown here is in flight. Although a fine piece, there is no relief carving on this bird, so the price is only $200 (plus $20 for the optional walnut plaque). A more detailed carving would be high-priced.|
|Here's a finer carving of a Dunlin in flight. Although a smooth carving, it is correctly proportioned and painted. A stiff wire supports the bird over a piece of driftwood. Again, notice the slightly curved bill. Check for this distinctive feature in other Dunlin carvings you may see (though not many are out there). A carving like this is $200, whereas one with carved detail as in the flying Spotted Sandpiper (below) would be $350.|
|This trio of Spotted Sandpipers is
the result of the clients' description
of what they wanted. Each of the three birds is carefully carved to express its "thoughts" at the time (landing, watching the latter, and feeding).
||The photo to the left shows a close view of the bird
in flight, in the above photo. Notice the
fine detail carved into the wings. Matt usually uses a sharp knife and fine rasps to achieve the detail shown here. A carving of this quality (as
a separate piece) would cost $350. The photo below shows a standing Spotted Sandpiper (not part of a group) with similar detail - also $300. All these prices are for very fine quality carvings and can be lowered if the client wishes to give
up some detail, as in the flying Dunlin above.
Matt offers a discount on a group carving.
The carving above would be $950, instead of $800 if ordered as separate
pieces. Tell Matt how you want the group arranged.
have made me very happy and I enjoy looking at the sandpiper when I open
my eyes in the start of a new day."
|The Willet is one of the larger sandpipers.
is very commonly seen in a variety of habitats including beaches and marshes. Although the summer plumage (below) is very different from the winter plumage (right), the white patch in the wing is distinctive. When the Willet flies
the patch expands into a wide band on each wing, making identification easy. The birds shown are $200 for the one below (no relief carving) and $300 each (with legs) for those
in the winter plumage.
|The sandpiper above and to the left are Red Knots,
a medium-size, "chunky" species. The carving above is quite
detailed and carved in relief; $300. The
one to the left is a smooth carving without legs for
$75. The patterns are somewhat different. One reason is that
the birds themselves vary depending upon season. Another is that
there are many ways artists interpret a pattern (look at a few bird guides!)
and Matt never copies what he's done before. Incidentally, Matt can carve a $50 knot if you aren't too particular (and it will probably still be better than most others' interpretations).
The sandpipers below are generic, that is
they are not carved with a particular species in mind. They
are done in a free form with regard to carving and painting. They're relatively easy and quick to make, therefore are less expensive. If you're not looking for something representing a definite species, you might consider one of these carvings. They are about a foot or more high and sell for $175 or less, depending on size and difficulty in painting. Incidentally, there are lots of carvings being sold as named species but which are no more specific than these.
|These are painted
in warm tones.
the cooler tones.
|Each generic carving comes with a driftwood base. The painting patterns vary. Matt likes to do these spontaneous carvings as a break from the demanding accuracy he usually is involved with. Matt would be open to your suggestions regarding the tones (yellow, orange, reddish, etc.) you might prefer.|
Following are some sandpiper carvings done in a style
less true to form, but with a little more of the folk art touch many clients
prefer. Matt can please whatever preference
you have in the way of pose, form, color, size, length and shape of bill,
length of neck, degree of carved detail, degree of accuracy of a particular
species, type of base, or whatever else you may like for your carving.
Let Matt know which style or styles you prefer.
If you really want to go rustic and very affordable, consider
Matt's unpainted shorebirds. Shown below,
they are singed with a torch and waxed to give them a very unusual and warm patina. For $50 you
can have a very nice piece that your friends will compliment. Each is mounted on a piece of driftwood. They come in various positions, including looking forward (not shown). Let Matt know which you prefer. They're inexpensive enough so that clients often order two and three (with a discount for 2 or more). They also make very nice gifts for friends who appreciate natural form. The carving with the raised wing is $75.
The sandpipers above can be painted black, and waxed,
for a very nice effect, as shown to
|The simple, full-bodied carving to the left is
painted black and mounted on a piece of driftwood. It can be made with eyes or not
(without gives a different affect) for a price of $125.
|To the right is an intricately carved Willet painted
in a base coat of black prior to being painted in its final plumage. The
bird is shown above (just before the Red Knot photos).
At this stage it would cost $225.
|There are two species of yellowlegs, the Greater
Yellowlegs and the Lesser Yellowlegs. They
differ mainly in size and length of bill.
Usually the Greater is the species clients order and is the one shown to the left. The legs help make this highly elegant carving very realistic. A carving of this quality is $400.
|The sandpipers Matt carves aren't
limited to North American species.
This photo shows a Eurasian species
called the Redshank for $350.
There are many sandpipers one may
The Redshank is a close relative of the yellowlegs (above).
26201 Dennis Rd.
Parksley, VA 23421