Traditionally hand crafted, folk art working fish decoys, decorative carvings and fishing lures.
About The Carver
Rich Brooks is a resident of Langhorne, PA who has worked with his hands for most of his life. Earlier pursuits included painting, woodturning, furniture making, and leather working. He was once a juried member of the Bucks County Guild of Craftsmen in both wood and leather working.
Rich began woodcarving in 1995 and entered his first woodcarving competition in 1997. Since then, he has won over 250 awards in carving competitions, including Best of Show at the Tuckerton, NJ Decoy Show in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011 for working fish decoys. In April 2002, competing against carvers from around the country and world, Rich won a blue ribbon, third place, and two honorable mentions for Freshwater Fish Decoys at the Ward World Championships in Ocean City, MD. In December 2003, Rich won 10 Blue Ribbons as well as Best of Show in the Folk Art Division at the Onaway, MI decoy competition. At Onaway in 2004, Rich won 6 more Blue Ribbons as well as Best of Show Folk Art for the 2nd year in a row. In 2005, Rich won Best of Show in both the Folk Art and Working Decoy divisions at the Onaway show. Rich has now won 15 Best of Show awards in various fish decoy and lure competitions.
Rich has competed at the Great Lakes World Championship of Fish Decoys since 2002, and has now won a total of 86 awards and 32 Blue Ribbons at the World Championships. Included in these awards are 3rd in World Folk Art Decoys in 2003, 3rd in World Decorative Carving in 2003, 2nd in World for both Folk Art and Working Decoys in 2006, 2nd in World for Working Decoys in 2008, 3rd in World Folk Art Decoy in 2008, and Best in Show Flambeau Run at the 2006 Worlds. Click on the thumbnails to the left to see some of Rich’s winning fish. Rich was also honored by being invited to judge one of the divisions he wasn’t entered in at the 2004 and 2006 World Championships. Recently, Rich has turned his attention to teaching fish decoy and lure carving and painting and gets tremendous satisfaction in seeing the great fish some of his students have carved and painted.
Rich prefers traditional hand tools and carves all of his pieces with knives and chisels, usually from white pine and white cedar. Fish are detailed with hand tools and a woodburner. Painted carvings are brush painted in artist oils or acrylics and finished with either varnish or wax...
Rich carves both decorative and working fish decoys as well as the occasional frog, tadpole, or crayfish. Fish plaques are also available. Now available are Rtistic Lures, a selection of hand carved, hand painted, collector quality wooden fishing plugs. In 2005, one of Rich’s casting plugs won Best in Show in the Striper Plug contest at the Tuckerton, NJ Decoy Show.
Working fish decoys were used by native Americans over 1000 years ago to spear fish through the ice, and are still in use today in several states where fish spearing is permitted. They are quite collectible and one of the great North American folk art forms.
GLFDA World Championship Winners 2008continue reading