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Micro-Mini Canvasbacks

This project is a little like painting the Mona Lisa on a grain of rice. Emphasis on the "little."

By: Thomas F. McCollum
Photography by Thomas F McCollum

In this photo, my finished canvasbacks appear at about 160% actual size.

Don't throw away the cutoffs you have left when you make larger ducks. Instead, use the scrap to create micro-miniature carvings such as the canvasbacks I'll demonstrate in this article. After I got tired of the stress of competition and the striving to create the perfect decoy, I discovered that a project like this is great for relieving tension. When you focus your eyes on such a small piece, it almost becomes meditative. I also appreciate the oohs and ahhs I get from people when I show them these miniatures. The carvings fit easily into a little pill vial, so you can just slide them into a shirt pocket and take them with you wherever you go and show them off. They are also great practice for carving full-size birds, without requiring a lot of time or materials. So try something different—take a break from the big stuff. Enjoy! 

This article is from the Fall 2010 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.

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