Author Topic: The future  (Read 1747 times)

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Offline Matt Gau

The future
« on: April 22, 2017, 09:40:01 AM »
Heck's post about cigar daisy got me thinking.

We are loosing old time carvers all the time. With the acception of two youth members (one twelve, the other thirteen) I am the youngest member of my carving club at 38 years of age. The majority are well north of 65. As the sport of duck hunting diminishes in popularity, the art of the decoy is fading as well. It's up to us to not only promote, but to mentor and encourage young carvers. I've seen it first hand in the fish decoy world. The fish decoys young carvers are unbelievable. I would like to think that they could do the same in the duck world.

So to conclude my deck sitting, coffee sipping commentary, blessed enough to be watching mallards and geese feeding in the still sunshine of early morning, listening to the woodducks sing. I want to leave you guys with this. If not for a mentor, I wouldn't be carving ducks. I needed a push, someone willing to be there with support, ideas, and the right criticism when it was needed. Take the time to be that guy for someone. There are guys out there that just need that little push. They talk to you at decoy shows and collect business cards looking for someone close to home that can maybe give them some direction.

We will never truly "replace" every decoy carver lost to the sands of time. But we might be able to add another handful or two of sand.
Matt Gau
Grumpy Decoys
m-gau@hotmail.com

Working Decoys Forum

The future
« on: April 22, 2017, 09:40:01 AM »

Re: The future
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2017, 10:04:58 AM »


   Matt   You are so correct, We don't seem to get the young people interested in carving. Look at the show lines entering birds, I like to say they all have grey hair or no hair, We in the IWCA have tried for years to interest young people into carving. without a whole lot of success we are looking for new ideas. if you have any let me know! It is heritage we need to keep going, so every one, teach a kid to carve. My best to all
Yellowdogdecoys

Working Decoys Forum

Re: The future
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2017, 10:04:58 AM »

Offline Vince Pagliaroli

Re: The future
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2017, 10:35:44 AM »
There are more young folks carving than one would think. I see it at every carving demo that I do. Most  have no interest in carving contests, clubs or shows. They go to other modern technology sources and get instant info. The art is not dying. In fact I think it is growing, but not in the ways most of us grey beads gravitated to it.

Set up anywhere outdoors, in a park, wildlife area, etc., or even your back yard and you will draw folks. On public hunting areas use your decoys, and after the hunt you are SURE to draw interest. That is where the seeds are planted. Also carve and show your work in places you are least expected and help educate non hunters.

 Legislation of art does more to stifle creativity than encourage it.

Offline Scott Russell

Re: The future
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2017, 03:16:24 PM »
I tend to agree with Vince.   There are WAY MORE carvers out there than many are aware of.  The ones I know are all very content to carve birds, hunt and basically stay out of the light.   They are not interested in clubs, shows, and contest.   They do some very fine work but just aren't into showing it off.   They pbooty along the hobby of carving to friends and family that show interest.

I don't think there is any fear of it disappearing.  Again Vince mentioned modern technology.  I personally do not have any reason to go to shows anymore like I used to.  I can get all the info I need from the computer know.  I few clicks on here or dial a phone number and I'm communicating with George, my brother, Modin, Matus, Costilow, or whoever...and discussing techniques, paint, pattern development, etc.   I will say I miss seeing some friends and just sitting around catching up on life.

AS far as pbootying it along I think that's being done a lot also.  I know there are several groups of people that get together regularly to carve, they have clbootyes, and many are youth based.  I personally will start some clbootyes with the youth in the church this fall.   The majority if not all of these carvers will never post on the internet or go to a show. 

I imagine the hobby of carving is much better off than many of us think.     

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

Socrates

Offline Dave Speer

Re: The future
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2017, 04:38:14 PM »
I could be wrong but I think that people in their 30's or older are much more likely to start and stick with carving than teenagers.  Only reason I bring it up is because I just don't see that many kids wanting to stick with it, and not because "kids these days" but just "kids" like they've always been.  Carving takes a lot of time, dedication, and it really takes a little money too.  My two local carving buddies never carve because they have young kids, but I bet they go on like wildfire in 10 years when their kids get busy enough that they have more free time.

I have nothing against "teach a kid to carve" I think it's a GREAT idea... I just wonder if it hasn't always been (in modern, post pro gunner days) a bit of a middle aged past time.

Working Decoys Forum

Re: The future
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2017, 04:38:14 PM »

Offline Scott Russell

Re: The future
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2017, 05:44:31 PM »
Dave you hit a point I was thinking about a little bit ago while messing around in the shop.

I think you see more of the "grey beards" in the forefront of carving because of a simple fact...they have the time.   Their families are raised, they have retired..or near it...and have the time to devote to it.

I own my business and if I'm not focused on it then the majority of my free time is spent with  my family or taking care of projects that have been put off for a long time.   Carving is something I do when I truly have "free" time.  Which is about enough to do 1 or 2 birds a year. 

When I retire...if I ever get to...that's when I can truly carve.
The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

Socrates

Offline Vince Pagliaroli

Re: The future
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2017, 07:50:53 PM »
I began to carve my own decoys when I was 32 (1982). I was married, working my arse off in a steel mill, and hunting and fishing everyday that I could. Sleep and rest were not a option. God, family, art and the Outdoors were all that mattered, and still do. I worked to live, not lived to work. I always found time to carve.

The decoy carving hook was set hunting over old Wildfowlers. Attending the Easton Watefowl Festival in the 70's, and hunting over wooden and canvas decoys in NC and VA. Hunting with Jimmy Bowden, Vern Berg, etc., other Eastern Shoremen and decoy makers/carvers.

At 30 a man matures, earlier for women. That's when the personal compbooty is set. Following it through good times and not so good times, the test.

Time is never wasted on youngsters. They can leave what they learn and then return. Seldom do people forget what adults did to impact their life at a young age in a positive way. It stays with you all your life.

Retirement is not all it's cracked up to be. The Golden Years are from 30-50 not afterwords. Do all that you can while yer young.

Sow the seeds and the harvest will come in God's good time.


"Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work."  -  H.L.Hunt



Offline Matt Gau

Re: The future
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2017, 12:30:43 PM »
Interesting arguments from both sides and multiple perspectives, very nice.

I help teach a youth carving clbooty every fall. It's actually how I got started learning along side my daughter. (The 13year old mentioned in my first post.) It's a clbooty for kids 12-18. The Minnesota Decoy Collectors Club sponsors a contest every year and we work with a dozen or so young people and help them to submit birds for that contest. (Hooded Merganser this fall) My mentor and I carve birds along side the kids demonstrating techniques and offering help and advice along the way.

What Dave has found is that many kids show a lot of talent but their interest fades as they get older. The hope is that someday, they will come back to it.

One thing I noticed last fall was the only two people out of a group of 20 that started the project who currently hunted or had ever hunted duck was 3, myself, my daughter, and the other instructor. The rest were just carving to carve.

I am glad to see others are noticing or bootyisting young(er) up and coming carvers. Perhaps this is a middle-aged game. Perhaps in this case "young" means 30-35. Perhaps we need to skip the number and just say we should all be open to helping any new or up and coming carver or hunter who shows interest in making his or her own birds.

I will say this, at least in MN where I am from, other decoy carvers, be it fish or fowl, are the most helpful and encouraging group I have ever seen. I attended a show yesterday and was asked by several other carvers why I wasn't showing that day, what I was working on, if I had a suggestion or advice on a project they were working on. It's a tight knit group, but a group that's very open to new members.

Be a steward to the sport. Make carvings or decoys you are proud to put your name on. Someday maybe your name will live on and your birds will grace the shelves or decoy spreads of future generations. Or the very least your grandkids or great grandkids.
Matt Gau
Grumpy Decoys
m-gau@hotmail.com

Offline Scott Russell

Re: The future
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2017, 01:59:26 PM »




"Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work."  -  H.L.Hunt


 
Great quote and it exemplifies why I do what I do. 

I think we all tend to think of everyone on a forum as having the same life experiences, ambitions, and priorities as we have.  After all we are all gathered in the same place doing the same thing.  IN reality it just isn't true.  We all have a different family life, live in different areas, have different jobs,....and different priorities.   

Pbooty it on to as many young people as you can.   Young folks still realize you have 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason.   Somewhere along the way people forget that.   That's my driving force for only working with kids from here on out.

You guys up north are fortunate in that it appears to an outsider that there are several carving clubs scattered around about every state up there.  Matt you have about twice as many people in your local club than there are carvers in Georgia and Alabama combined :).  Carving is just not a big deal in my area.  That changes in the Louisiana Delta.  Strong in that area.

Vince I hope my Golden Years are when I retire.  If they are now then I'm screwed. ;) ;)   Owning and running your own business has it's pros and cons.  Time off just isn't one of them.  Although I have cut back to 5.5 days/week in the last 2 years.  Hopefully will have full weekends this year. :) :) :)


Great discussion.  Used to be one like this about every week on here.   This one has me thinking.

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

Socrates

Re: The future
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2017, 03:53:27 PM »
 I agree with a lot that has been said. I have pushed to try and get more of the newly retired interested in carving. They have the time and resources to pick up this great art. It doesn't make any difference if you do it for hunting,competition,or pleasure it is truly a great pastime. I did not start carving until I was forty and have been at it steady for the last 39 years. Interest someone in keeping our carving tradition going, young or older. My best to all of you that love this art form
Yellowdogdecoys

Offline Vince Pagliaroli

Re: The future
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2017, 07:23:59 PM »
Scott - I don't like to burst yer bubble about retirement...  But ya know all that not to smart stuff ya did in your younger years. Well if yer still alive at retirement age that IS when ya pay the price for the not so smart stuff ya did. :(

You will have plenty of time when yer retired. Much of it will be spent going to doctors, having geezer issues, tests, procedures and more meds than you ever took in yer life for some kind of something. ::) Don't even get me started about Medicare, all the homework you will have to do, and medical bills. ???


As for teaching folks carving. ALL ages count. Many will be non hunters and Fish carving really is of interest and has a bright future.

That we all live our lives as a good example to others pays good dividends, many of which we will not see.

It is a honor to be a member of the Decoy Carving Community.

Offline Scott Russell

Re: The future
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2017, 02:39:46 PM »
Scott - I don't like to burst yer bubble about retirement...  But ya know all that not to smart stuff ya did in your younger years. Well if yer still alive at retirement age that IS when ya pay the price for the not so smart stuff ya did. :(

You will have plenty of time when yer retired. Much of it will be spent going to doctors, having geezer issues, tests, procedures and more meds than you ever took in yer life for some kind of something. ::) Don't even get me started about Medicare, all the homework you will have to do, and medical bills. ???




I understand believe it or not.  I just got my MRI results on my lower back about an hour ago.  Advanced arthritis, severe degenerative spinal disease, and a small cyst.  ;D ;D

I already get injections at the base of skull to block nerve pain every 3 months and every 6-9 months I have to have a spinal epidural in my lower neck.   Now I can add my lower back to the mix ::)

I'm young at 49 but I feel old.    I'm just looking forward to not having to work 12-14 hours/day in the summer while hurting like I do.


For you new carvers....proper posture when carving is important also.
The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

Socrates

Offline george williams

Re: The future
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2017, 05:44:01 PM »
Sheesh, Scott.. Gotta get you on our prayer list out this way.
Am beginning to show some signs of Arthur--Have a digit on my left hand that shows some signs of looking like John Carradine's hands. Thank God, there is no pain bootyociated with it,
Going to stay active in the shop as long as HE allows.
Try to stay busy. Sometimes that alone blocks pain.
God Bless
so many carvers, so few decoy makers

Offline Vince Pagliaroli

Re: The future
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2017, 01:39:45 PM »
Scott - I hear thee. When I was your age I was a remote control railroad engineer (not allowed in the cab, brakeman, switchman, did it all) in a steel mill. Got the livin' heck beat out of me, but still kept my legs and arms. Many guys did not. My foreman was crushed to death between two ingot buggies. The general foreman had one leg, as the other was cut off when he did my job. Ya I have a few lingering pains... like all workin' guys do. We trade our health for $$$$$$$.

Yet like you, I still went hunting whenever I could. Those work related aches and pains you learn to live with. Geezer issues are more internal and involve places and organs ya really don't want to think about... ???


George - As for your hands. Take a good look at Keith Richards hands, and ya gotta wonder how the heck he still plays guitar?!  You are correct busy does help moderate pain. Once ya plant yerself in the rocking chair, it's OVER. :(

Offline BobM

Re: The future
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2017, 01:37:00 PM »
There is not easy answer or quick fix .Teach the basics to anyone who will listen . Show your work to your community .Display in libraries and banks etc just show good work .People will always desire to create wildlife in art its part of what makes us human so encourage and promote that . Don't forget the $$$$$$$$$$$  it takes $$$$$$$$$$   to make this stuff .Use your art to do Gods work to better humanity and protect the earth and its diversity of life ..God will bless you when you do .
« Last Edit: April 27, 2017, 01:39:09 PM by BobM »