Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Etsy Around the World: WoodDucksAndMore

This week the Etsy Around the World features takes us a short trip to the Northwest of our state to visit with one of the few men who are selling their art on Etsy. He's made several trips to North Carolina, which have given him a glimpse of some of the very birds that he creates in silhouette.

Who are you?
Anthony Trimboli of WoodDucksAndMore

Why did you choose your company name?
My company name is play on words. The wood duck is a colorful, small duck that nests and roosts in trees and is very common in Kentucky. They are by far one of my favorite species of waterfowl. A drake wood duck is pictured in my Etsy avatar. My waterfowl decoys are also made out of wood - wood, cork, or canvas - they all have wood in them to some extent. So I am making wood ducks, but I also make other birds and flat art. The name Wood Ducks and More just kind of came to me one day and it fit so well that I went with it.

Where are you located?
Franklin, KY the south-central part of the state, due north of Nashville, TN

What do you create?
I mainly make traditionally styled waterfowl and shorebird decoys. Ducks and other waterfowl are made from cork, wood, or my personal favorite – stretched canvas over a wire and wood frame. Shorebirds are made from wood and are either full bodied or silhouettes cut from thin lumber and painted to resemble the species. Although my carvings are traditional in style I use modern materials where appropriate or more environmentally friendly. When possible I also utilize recycled or salvaged materials – anything from scrap lumber to old canvas shopping bags.

Recently I have also started to do a little flat art painting, mostly watercolor, but I have been experimenting with mixed media watercolor and acrylics together. Using the two types of paints in the same painting allows for some cool effects to be done.

Have you ever visited North Carolina?
Yes! I have been to North Carolina many times. Visited the Smoky Mountains several times and have been to the Outer Banks, where coincidently, some of the most famous decoy carvers are from. It is hard to pick a favorite part from these trips as each one had its own great points and all were different. To put it in context with my art I would have to go with the outer banks as I actually got to meet some local decoy makers in their shops and see some of their works in progress. Also it was nice to see waterfowl like brant that we don’t have in Kentucky. I remember taking a ferry between two islands and getting close looks at a flock of several hundred brant bobbing up and down while feeding, their big white rear ends looking like bleach bottles floating in the ocean. Then they would sit back up and it looked like someone turned out the lights! Very cool to watch.

What is your favorite place to visit in your hometown?
Well, it’s not quite in my home town but very close. Mammoth Cave National Park is my favorite place to visit. Most people that have never been there think that the park is just the cave but there is a whole lot of land on top of it. Habitat varies from old growth forest to bottom land forest, cane breaks, prairies, limestone glades, and the Green River – one of the most biodiverse river systems in the world. It is a great place to go for a hike and take pictures of wildflowers and wildlife or take the watercolors and just sit on the edge of the trail and paint. Of course there is the cave and that is awesome too!

What inspires you?
Most of my inspiration comes straight from nature. I love to watch wildlife and to botanize while I hike. The species that I carve and paint are ones that I have seen and studied in the wild. It is very hard for me to create a piece trying to depict something I have not seen in life.

Where do you create?
I don’t have a fancy set up for carving, just a workbench in the spare bedroom. I try to confine my carving to one place as it helps (somewhat) to contain the dust and chips. Since I carve by hand most of the debris is in the form of chips and shavings so it is easy to clean up. Once I get the bird carved I either paint it at the workbench or I put a card table in the living room and paint while I watch a movie or football. My flat art is either painted on the card table or out in the field.

What is the most time consuming part of your art?
The most time consuming part of carving is creating a good pattern. A good pattern is essential because once the design is on the wood and the profile is cut out the basic shape is set. If the pattern is off the finished carving will not have the correct look. It looks like a simple process but creating a pattern can be tricky as you have to envision what the finished carving will look like after the extra wood is removed. I always try to leave a little more wood then I think I will need as I can always take it off later.

What are your goals?
My goals as an artists are to continue pushing myself to try new techniques and to improve with each piece I create. If I learn something in the creation process I consider the piece a success. It is also important to me to try and learn about other art forms as they can lead to insights in how I can do things differently with my carvings. As an example, painting flat art with watercolors has led me to try new techniques with my acrylics on decoys. At the same time my experience with acrylics has lead me to try comingling them with the watercolors on flat art.

Business goals are to keep plugging away and expanding as time permits. Currently I am selling on Etsy and at a local gallery, and that is keeping me busy for the moment. In the near future I hope to be offering prints of my watercolor and mixed media paintings.

--Become a fan of WoodDucksAndMore on Facebook.

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