On Saturday, Oct. 12, woodcarver Bob Gibson, of Lawrenceburg, will demonstrate how he carves wooden duck decoys from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Gibson moved to Kentucky in 1979. His interest in carving decoys developed as an extension of his personal waterfowl hunting. He began by carving working decoys and progressed to carving miniature and then life-sized decorative decoys. His work is detailed and true to life, with realism attained by looking at real specimens, photographs, and first-hand knowledge.


Photos, left to right: A carved duck decoy "Loon" by Bob Gibson; Gibson carves feathers with a Dremmel tool during his demonstration.

Each decoy starts by cutting trees from the stand of eastern red cedars that grows on Gibson’s farm. The wood is dried, and silhouettes are cut from the wood with a band saw. Then a power carver on a flexible shaft is used to finesse the final shape. Gibson uses wood-burning tools and a Dremmel tool or power carver to achieve details. Feather colors are created by painting the decoy with multiple layers of acrylic paint.

Gibson is a juried member of the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program and has also created a line of feather jewelry and carved duck-calls. His work has won several awards in competitions hosted by the Ohio Decoy Collectors and Carvers Association and the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association.

Carvings by Gibson are regularly available at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, located at 200 Artisan Way, just off Interstate 75 at Berea Exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily, year-round, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cafe is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Celebrating 10 years in 2013, the center currently features works by more than 650 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. Special exhibits on display are, “Capturing the Art of Sport: Works by Kentucky Artisans,” through Feb. 22, 2014, and lobby exhibits, “The Founding of the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea” and “Highlights of the First 10 Years,” through Nov. 17. For more information about the center’s events call 859-985-5448, visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kentucky.artisan.center, or go to the center’s website at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov.

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.



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