Okay, it's the off season and after resting a month or so, it's time to start those off season projects. After last week's LI Decoy show, I got the urge again. I was browsing my copy of "Decoys of the Atlantic Flyway" by Dr. George Ross Starr, and I came across this plate of a Long Island Sound Black Duck. The story behind it is that the illustrator (Joel Barber) bought the block from someone on Long Island's south shore (Amityville, if I recall correctly), but later found out that it was made in Stratford Ct. Either way, it's a good example of the blocks that were in common use at the turn of the last century in this area.
I thought it would be kind of cool to have half dozen of these in the boar for next season. I've begun work on the heads. I used that pattern to make three resters, and have another pattern that was modified from this one to make heads for active birds. I believe that the traditional material for the heads was white pine, but I've been using some aspen. It seems to carve better for me.