Welcome to Middleton Decoys
I make quality decoys and carvings for people who find inspiration and connection to nature through this art form.
My formative duck hunting experiences occurred in my early teens with a family friend who deployed George Soule’s cork decoys sold by L.L. Bean. Thirty years later when our family friend passed away, I was given his decoys.
The decoys brought back a rush of memories and reminded me how beautiful decoys can enhance the hunting experience; on slow days, plastic decoys are hard to enjoy. And between duck seasons, a couple of decoys can be enjoyed resting on the mantle.
At the time, I owned and operated a boat-building business, building high-end yachts and other craft. Tommy Boozer, a model boat builder and decoy carver, lived near my boat yard.
He would often stop by my shop and look through our scrap pile. He often asked me to stop by his shop. After being reintroduced to George Soule’s decoys, and a very inspiring visit to Tommy’s shop, I tried my hand at a few decoys. I adopted Tommy’s practice, a traditional one, of making hollow-bodied decoys out of eastern white cedar also referred to as juniper.
After years of making working decoys, my skills evolved, and I now create both decoys to fool ducks and decorative sculptures of birds to fool people.
My workshop is a barn I built in the coastal community of Camden, Maine. The workshop’s proximity to the natural world provides inspiration and connection.
To craft the bodies of my working decoys, I use a singular piece of air-dried wood- either Northern White or Eastern White Cedar. The heads of the decoys are made from separate pieces of the same wood species but are carefully chosen for choice grain orientation and clarity. For my decorative sculpture works, I use Basswood which allows for greater detail.
I use oil paint on both the decoys and the decorative carvings. The oil paint of the working decoys is stabilized and protected with a bit of linseed oil and enables me to create a true work of art that is durable.