Tofino art: David Parks
Carving decoys is the self-taught occupation of David Parks that began
in the mid 1980’s as a hobby. This pursuit has now developed
into his business that occupies much of his time.
Long-billed curlews are David’s favorite bird, having grown up
with them in his native Ireland. You will find many different curlew
styles in his appropriately named “The Curlew Workshop .” Some
are of his own design while others are in the tradition of the early
carvers who made curlew decoys. In fact, David relies on the styles
of the early traditions and much research goes into the making of each
of his decoys so that they replicate the originals as closely as possible.
It was shortly before the cessation of the hunting of shorebirds,
that the mantel bird came into existence. Hunters would order decoys
include some for their mantelpiece. Thus the two-legged mantel bird
was created specifically for this non-hunting purpose and is an integral
part of the lore of the shorebird decoy.
Handcarving shorebird decoys gives David great satisfaction as the
image emerges from the wood. These decoys are highly imaginative works
of art representing a bygone era.
David Parks’ work can be viewed at the Islandfolk
Art Gallery in Tofino and at www.islandfolkgallery.com
Carving decoys is the self-taught occupation of David Parks that began as a hobby. His shore bird decoy can be found at Islandfolk in Tofino.