Carving of a sanderling running on sandy beach

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 photo below shows a top view of the Whimbrel carving shown above.

The two photos below show the Sanderling 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 alive.   $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.

"You 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.  It
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 Willet to the above right is shown below (near the end of this page, just before the Greater
     Yellowlegs) in its black base coat.  This is an option you might consider (and it would cost less).
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.

   These tend toward 
 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 right. They are $60.  Let Matt know if you prefer them with eyes (add $5) or not.  The
latter adds a different aspect - a greater purity
of form. 

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 completed
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
see in traveling to other continents and 
Matt would  be happy to give substance
to your memory, in wood. 

The Redshank is a close relative of the yellowlegs (above).

 The CORMONS signature on each carving or sculpture

Reach Matt atE-mail


  Address:  Matt Cormons
                       26201 Dennis Rd.
                          Parksley, VA 23421

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