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Jode Hillman is a 4th generation craftsman and full-time decoy carver. Since the late 1990s, Hillman has honed his unique ability to mix time-honored decoy carving techniques with an Impressionist painter’s eye for the spirit of nature. The resulting works are masterfully executed decoys that carry the essence of the real-life birds that inspired them.
Hillman teaches all about decoys at The Tuckerton Seaport Museum and other venues. One of his Wood Ducks was featured on the 2006 New Jersey Waterfowl Stamp, and his work can be found in public and private collections throughout the United States and abroad. In keeping with the tradition of his decoy carving heroes, Hillman relies on antique hand tools, rounding out the bodies with a drawknife and spokeshave, and then using oil paints for a rich and vibrant finishing touch. The resulting decoy, whether it’s on a mantle or in the water, is a true work of art.