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Our Decoys

Kawonu Crafts Ltd. decoys are handcrafted replicas of solid wood decoys typically used along the “Eastern Shore” in the 1800’s.

The body and head are turned on a lathe from Virginia or Northern White Pine. The rough body and head are then sculpted using various hand and power carving tools. The body of the duck is prepared to receive the head which is fastened using a fluted wooden dowel to maximize head stability. The feather patterns are hand drawn, basic feathering details are cut into the wood, and then the duck is hand painted using fine acrylic paints. A variety of birding field guides, such as The Audubon Society Master Guide, Stoke’s Nature Guides, and Smithsonian Guides, are referenced along with personal photographic and fieldwork to ensure the accuracy of detail and coloring.

After painting is completed wired glass eyes, the size and color of which are true to each species, are set. The bird is then distressed using a variety of tools and methods and finished to replicate a weathered well-used lure.

A keel is made from cedar or cypress with a mooring line hole cut and a lead alloy weight affixed for ballast. The weighted keel is then attached to the decoy with brass screws. In the early days weights were commonly made of iron. However in later years lead was used because it was easier to work with and would not mar the painting on other decoys in the rig.

Kawonu Crafts Ltd. decoys include a wooden stand for display with the keel attached, or if desired the keel can be removed so that the decoy can be displayed flat.

The same steps and processes described above for the crafting of decoy ducks are also taken in crafting Kawonu Crafts Ltd. shorebirds, commonly known as snipe decoys or stick-ups. These decoys include a wooden dowel and stand for display.

Since each decoy and stick-up is handcrafted there may be slight variations in overall size, head placement, feather detailing, and finishing. We strive to have finished inventory on hand for the products shown on our web site. However, due to demand and availability of raw materials, the actual inventory needed to fill a specific order may require some decoys to be crafted at the time of that order. Should this be required you would be notified. Products indicated as "Special Order Only" on our website may require six to eight weeks to complete. All models crafted for inventory are drakes, however, a hen for a given species may be available through special order.

Kawonu Crafts Ltd. decoys are intended to represent a well-worn tool of the hunter---an item of utility and folk art---that has made a transition from the marsh to the mantel.

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