Sunday, January 15, 2012

Refuge in the Wetlands

Refuge In The Wetlands
 This piece was created after a volunteer job for the Division of Wildlife.  This was not a pleasant job but it gave me the closeup, hands on feel for a duck.

My son and I teamed up with a DOW office and two gentleman from Ducks Unlimited to pick up dead or dieing ducks of botulism.   This occurs with certain weather conditions and is not preventable but everyone on lakes all over hurry to remove the infected ducks before they are eaten by predators or spread to other birds. (We did find a few crane dead also). We carried them out by the hundreds as we walked in chest waders dragging a contractors trash bag behind in our wake.

This is exact measurements of a mallard (life size) drake and I depicted him banded to honor those dedicated to preserving and tracking waterfowl.  Our DOW volunteers work hard to assist the Division of Wildlife in anyway possible and when it comes to ducks, work right alongside state biologist and groups such as DU. I have been busy lately and need to get back into volunteering with DOW in order to give something back.

The cattails were difficult in this piece considering the weight they had to support of the incoming mallard.  Hopefully it gives the illusion of flying into the cattails. As in a lot of my pieces these two forms were never married in clay but welded together only after casting in bronze.

I used tiny balsa wood pieces and wood dowels to cover with clay before molding and by surrounding an upside down paper cup it maintained its shape and formed great support in the circle of cattails depicted. This was constructed so that it could be placed in a pond outside on a metal plate or on the base shown in an entryway. The stray reed arching over in front broke up the upward motion nicely. It sits on dark green stone to portray water.


  1. Very nice design and the duck does, indeed, appear weightless!

  2. Lori, thanks for the comment I always appreciate it when I get feedback.