Red-breasted Merganser Wood Carving
by Jim Harkness
At an auction the other night I was very fortunate to be able to obtain the carving depicted below. It was done by Jim Harkness of Stayner, ON.
From the very beginning (1975) Harkness' work has been characterized by a strong graphic simplicity. The material used is basswood and white pine, cut with a bandsaw and then shaped by hand with files. When the carving is ready for its decorative finish it is painted with oil stains and enamels and is coated with varnish.
Harkness' signature style is immediately recognizable and all of his carvings of birds portray the same stylized representation of his subject. The flowing lines and utter simplicity of this piece are reminiscent of the finest era of duck decoy making in Ontario.