Wood Carved Ice Fishing Decoys

Wood Carved Ice Fishing Decoys

During the  America Depression ice fishing decoys were a major way to put food on the table.  Today they are a fun, delightful carving subject that lends themself to brilliant coloring.  This post will look at a coloring/painting technique called Rouging, as shown on our middle red-orange metallic goldfish.

Below are three samples of ice fishing decoys, all worked off the general body shape of a comet goldfish.  Measuring between 6″ x 4″ to 7 1/2″ x 4″, worked in basswood, the top fish is sprayed with a copper metallic finish.  Our second fish has been roughed using oil paints and linseed oil over the same copper metallic, and the bottom fish is painted using craft acrylics over a lime green spray base.

 

Ice decoys were made from what ever materials the carver had on hand.  A scrap of wood, maybe an old license plate or piece of scrap metal for the fins, and roofing nails for the eye; these decoys are a major part of American folk art.

My carved samples are worked in basswood for the body shape.  The fins are cut from 30 gauge copper sheeting, which can easily be cut using a pair of craft scissors.

To insert the fins into the body I use my shading tip of my wood burning tool on my hottest temperature setting to literally burn a thin trough into the decoy.  While I have my burning unit on the table I can add small details to the body as scales, center lines, and even cross hatch patterns.

Remove any burned dust from your fin troughs then insert and set the copper fins with super glue.  To fill in the small gap between the burned trough and the metal fins I use Liquitex Modeling Paste – an air-dry polymer mixture that dries extremely hard without shrinking.   You can see the white line of modeling paste between the top fin and body, below.

After the decoy was thoroughly dry, sanded and dusted, I gave the fish two light coats of copper metallic spray paint.  Allow that primer layer to dry for several hours. I used t he spray paint as my base to avoid any brush strokes that might come from a hand-brushed primer.

Rouging is worked over a heavily antique project or a metallic base using artist oil paints, boiled linseed oil, and gloss acrylic spray sealer.

Place a small amount of each oil paint on a palette – I am using lemon yellow, cadmium yellow, cadmium orange, and cadmium red.  Oil paints are transparent colors that have no white, black, or gray base.  So as we work the color of the paint will clearly allow the color and sheen of the metallic spray to show through.

1  Lightly dampen your ox-hair brush in boiled linseed oil.  Blot as much of the oil off the brush as you can.  Next, pick up a very small amount of color on your brush tip.  I like to rub the color into the tip on the same area of paper towels as I just blotted the oil from my brush.

2  Gently rub one coat of linseed oil thinned color onto each area of your project.  I use a circular motion where the brush just barely touches the fish … just like applying your make-up rouge.  You should barely be able to see any color application with this first coat.  Let the oil paint dry for about 15 minutes.

3  Now, give your fish a light coat of gloss acrylic spray sealer.  Let the sealer dry for about 1/2 hour.

4  Repeat steps 1 through 3 over, and over, and over again.  And now repeat some more.

With each repeat you add an extremely thin layer of transparent oil color followed by a layer of gloss shine all on top of your metallic base.  The decoy below has about 8 to 10 coats at this stage.

 

The finished technique gives you this deep layering of bright color, sparkle and shine, that also allows the metallic sheen to come through the work.  This is similar to Chinese lacquer ware or enameling, in its effect.

For a little contrast I did add solid acrylic black eyes, black and white dots along the spine, and a little splatter of metallic gold paint to the fin ends.  With one last coat of gloss spray sealer this little bit of folk art is ready to hang.

 

 

 

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Wood Burned Pyrography Free Bird Pattern

Wood Burned Pyrography Free Bird Pattern

This little “Let the Stress Begin” Bird Pattern for pyrography and wood carving is worked on a mini-clipboard that measures 6 1/2″ high by 4″ wide.  The outer 1/2″ edge of the clipboard was covered with painter’s tape after the pattern was traced.  This protects that area of wood from being burned and when it is removed you have a clean, straight-lined border.

This is a simple silhouette burn on a high setting for your wood burning tool for the bird’s outline and body fill.  The background grass was worked using a ball-tip pen on a medium temperature setting.

The white and yellow were added after the pyrography was completed using acrylic craft paints.  After they dry finish your wood burning using your favorite spray sealer.

Please click on the image above to open a new window with the full-sized – 7″ x 10″ – pattern.

Please click on the image above to open a new window with the full-sized – 7″ x 10″ – pattern.

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Wire Wrapped Copper Jewelry Designs

Wire Wrapped Copper Jewelry Designs

Please share the fun on FaceBook, Pinterest, and Reddit!  Thank you!!!!

Even a wood carving – pyrography – line art artist needs a hobby.  Something that
is quick, fun, and inexpensive.  something that you can work in the rec room,
and something that will make fantastic easy gifts.

My extra hobby is wire-bent, wire-wrapped copper jewelry!

The Wire-Bent Links Bracelet, shown above, is a fun design created from a selection of the over 300 bent-wire links that you can create featured in Easy & Elegant Beaded Copper Jewelry, published by Fox Chapel in 2011.

As you practice the wide variety of copper wire bent links that you can create you will end up with a wonderful pile of small, bright, shiny links – ready for your next jewelry project.


By creating a simple straight loop beaded link chain, you now have the bracelet base on which you can hang those links, using a jump ring or split ring.   This is one design where the more the better, so let your creativity run wild.

 

 

Supplies include a few simple tools –

flush wire cutters

round nose pliers

nylon grip flat pliers

long nose pliers

18-gauge copper wire

20 – to 24-gauge copper wire

assorted bright, shiny, bling beads

assorted jewelry findings

 

Books by Lora Irish

Lora Irish Copper Jewelry Book

Easy & Elegant Beaded Copper Jewelry

How to Create Beautiful Fashion Accessories from a Few Basic Steps

You can make affordable and stylish copper wire jewelry with a few simple tools, some wire and beads. Learn over 300 different link styles and how to create your own with step-by-step instructions and outstanding instructional photos!

 

Wire Wrapped Copper Jewelry Book

Wire-Wrapped Jewelry Techniques:

Tools and Inspiration for Creating Your Own Fashionable Jewelry

 

This comprehensive guide to wire-wrapping jewelry covers all the techniques beginners need to know!

  • 30 expert wire wrapping techniques step-by-step, including simple loops, cluster wrap, adding beads to wrapping wire, adding a coil element, wrapping sequential layers, and more
  • 8 stylish DIY projects for statement jewelry like necklaces, pendants, hairpins, and earrings
  • Comprehensive guide includes step-by-step instructions, lists of materials and tools needed, and helpful tips and tricks
  • Beginner-friendly for anyone who is new to wire wrapping or just wants to brush up on techniques

 

 

 

 

copper jewelry bent wire links

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Wood Spirit and Greenman Carving and Wood Burning Patterns

Wood Spirit and Greenman Carving and Wood Burning Patterns

Colored Pencil Portraits, Adult Coloring

Adult Coloring Portraits E-Book
Exclusive Downloaded E-Book; 146 Page, 62 Patterns E-Project (.pdf Format)
Visit our two step-by-step projects –
Greenman Leather Pyrography Bullet Journal
& Pyrography Greenman Purse

 

 

 

Lora Irish Carving PatternsFun Wood Spirits Pattern Pack
14 Line Art Patterns, 14 Shaded Drawings
Seven Wood Spirits and Greenmen make up this Large Pattern Package. Each is shown as outline patterns for both front facing and profile carving of the face. This package also includes the detailed pencil drawings for each outline pattern. That’s fourteen patterns with fourteen matching drawings! Great for Wood Burning & Pyrography!

 

 

 

Leaf Eaters & Greenmen Patterns
14 Line Art Patterns
The classic Medieval Greenman often had long stems and branches of thickly packed leaves coming from his open mouth or nose. Called Leaf Eaters, this pattern package includes fourteen traditional wood spirit and greenman designs that can be used for wood carving, laser engraving, and pyrography. Leafy corners and a new profile design are included.
Visit Relief Carving the Wood Spirit on our blog at LSIrish.com to learn how to carve your own.

 

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