Altered Landscapes

By: Tom Huntington, images courtesy of Tom Baldwin
Tom Baldwin

Carver Tom Baldwin likes to work at the spot where birds and humans intersect. Tom Baldwin has long been fascinated by the way birds make use of the things that humans create. They make nests in the letters of drugstore signs, sit on fences, and perch on farm equipment. Baldwin likes to observe how these human-made elements force themselves into the natural world, and the way birds adapt to them.“It’s all about orienting to an adaption,” he says. 

For example, the piece he carved for the world decorative life-size wildfowl division at the 2018 Ward World Championship included a couple of house sparrows perched on a bit of cyclone fencing. “We see these birds sitting in cyclone fences all over the place,” Baldwin says. The fence post and cap are wood, as are the birds, but everything else is metal. He made the fence from bronze rod and spent a good amount of time just figuring out how it all needed to go together. “I spent a week just on that silly fence.”


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