Preserving the Tradition of Fish Carving

Where It All Began

One cold November day in Easton, Maryland, many years ago, I encountered the British tradition of trophy fish carving. At the annual Waterfowl Festival I found, lying in two pieces on an auction table, a gorgeous half-body salmon model. (At the time, I had no idea it was painted by Dhuie Tully – one of the most accomplished British fish model makers from the early 1900s.) And although I did not leave the owner of that carving, I did leave inspired to breathe new life into this tradition.

For over 20 years, I have been carving and painting fish models in the British tradition. My body of work to date encompasses over 200 carvings of fish from 16 different countries and six continents.

My work brings me great joy and satisfaction and is, truly, an act of worship for me. The drawing of the fish – transferring from a photograph the lines to a block of wood that when cut will eventually translate into curves; the sanding of the wood to the precise feel of round; the painstaking painting of the head, fins and tail….and then the body; and finally, deciding how to interpret the color and represent it with paint. All of these acts are part of a reverent ceremony.

In nature live some of the most incredible creatures and it is my honor to be able to carve and paint a likeness of them.