Va Va Vroom

Luxury never looked better. In your friendly neighborhood showroom now…

Va Va Vroom
Luxury never looked better. In your friendly neighborhood showroom now?

Jaguar XJ R $84,250

Volvo S80 V8 AWD $49,210

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Cadillac STS V6 1SC $48,870

Infiniti G37 Sport 6 MT Coupe $35,550 

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 Lexus GS 45h $54,900 

 BMW 650i Coupe $74,700

Prices are the manufacturers? suggested retail for the vehicle as pictured.

Bill Veasey is a one-man assembly line when it comes to carving fancy decoys
such as this pair of spectacled eiders (right).

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Home Duckerating
Bill Veasey’s wildfowl carvings have graced the home of the leader of the free world. You can own one, too.

Many folks would take days to carve just one head. Bill Veasey carves 20 in a day. That speed and skill comes in handy when you create wooden wildlife for a living.

Veasey, 75, is a decorative carver from Newark. His award-winning work-from old-fashioned hunting decoys to highly detailed carvings of ducks and other birds-is on display in waterfowl museums on the Eastern Shore and homes around the world.

“We’ve taken this to the level of fine art in the last several years,” says Veasey, who has been carving, teaching and publishing books about his craft for more than 35 years.

He nods toward a likeness of two common terns battling, mid-air, over a fishing lure. “The museums recognize that truly this is a piece of sculpture,” he says. “There’s more detail than anything [local bronze sculptor] Charlie Parks does. Metal does not lend itself to the things we can achieve with wood. We have to learn what a sculptor does and what a painter does.”

Veasey has customers in all 50 states and 17 countries. One of his sculptures resides in the Kennebunkport, Maine, digs of former president George H.W. Bush. His art also roosts closer to home. He created the raven that’s perched at the Deer Park Tavern in Newark.

Carvers use power and hand tools to shape blocks of wood. Smaller blades are used to etch bills, beaks and feathers. The carvings are painted by hand.

“Some in art consider what we do illustration because we are working to scale,” Veasey says. “We’re not exaggerating the size of the wings. We’re not doing a Dali-esque kind of thing.”

Veasey charges $100 for a simple hunting decoy to $25,000 for a 4-foot tall replica of a bald eagle. Decorative carvings of birds such as teals and pintails regularly fetch $12,000 at auction. The Millennium Collection-16 pairs of fancy hunting decoys, including spectacled eiders and pie-billed grebes-was especially popular. He sold all 50 sets at $300 a pair. “I’ve always priced my stuff to sell,” he says. “I have the gift of being able to do it quicker than most people.”

For commissions or carving lessons, call Veasey at 286-6672.

-Drew Ostroski

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