Mark Costilow

Apprenticeship Description:
During the FY2010 funding year Mark Costilow undertook an apprenticeship in Duck Decoy Carving with apprentice James Schreckengost.  The master and apprentice worked together for a total of 100 hours over a 12-month period.  During the year the master and apprentice learned traditional decoy carving that includes observing birds in their natural habitat, selecting wood, roughing out the bird’s shape from a block of wood, sanding and painting it, and sealing the decoy properly for water tightness.  In addition the master taught the apprentice safety techniques when working with a band saw and carving tools.  They also made a visit to a decoy museum and participated in a decoy carving contest.
James Schreckengost

Mark Costilow, of Amherst, Ohio, is a self-taught, full-time professional carver with over 300 blue ribbons to his credit. An enthusiastic duck hunter himself, he personally hand carves and paints over 200 gunning decoys each year. Mark’s work usually falls in the “traditional working birds” and “competition grade hunting decoy” categories. He has consistently won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd “Best of Show” awards at such prestigious waterfowl competitions as Harve de Grace, Ward World Championship Wildfowl Carving Competition, North American Carving Championship, and California Open, among others too numerous to mention.

Mark was also named the 1996 New England DU Carver of the Year. His works have been featured in Wildfowl Carver and Collecting Magazine, on the front cover of the California Waterfowl Association’s magazine, and are actively collected by discriminating decoy enthusiasts.

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