Pat Godin is the 2002 Woodcarver of the Year


Few have had the impact on the world of wildfowl carving that Pat Godin has had. He is known to nearly everyone who has carved, burned, painted, and mounted a bird as a promoter of the art form through his blue-ribbon-winning work that includes eight World Championship titles, his books, videos, and magazine articles, as well as his lectures, seminars, and workshops. Based on the respect he has earned from students and fellow carvers alike, his publications, and his many awards, Pat Godin is the second recipient of Woodcarving Illustrated’s Woodcarver of the Year Award.

A childhood fascination with the natural world inspired Pat to carve his first bird in 1967. He continued to carve in those early years solely for his own pleasure. In the early 1970s Pat became aware of several competitive exhibitions of decorative duck decoys and other wooden bird sculptures. After meeting enthusiastic bird carvers and picking up ideas and technical tips, his work quickly became competitive at the “World Class” level of competition. Since his bird carving career began, Pat has gained international recognition for his fine and accurate renditions of wildfowl as well as for the creative vision present in his work.

bird7With a formal background in wildlife biology and ornithology, it is no accident that his work exhibits not only accuracy in form and color but also radiates the life of a real bird. Throughout the years 1972 to 1979, Pat studied at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, and acquired an Honors Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology as well as a Master of Science degree by conducting research on mallard ecology. In addition to acting as an undergraduate ornithology instructor, he also worked extensively with waterfowl and other species of birds while working with the Canadian Wildlife Service.

In 1976, Pat’s innovative pair of common goldeneyes was judged Best in World at the Ward World Championship Wildlife Competition held in Ocean City, Md. It was the first of eight World Championship titles. These include subsequent titles in 1980 and 1984 in Decorative Decoy Pairs and in 1982 and 1995 in Decorative Lifesize Wildfowl Sculpture.

bird6In 1999, Pat was awarded his sixth World title in the miniature category with his one-third lifesize carving of a ruffed grouse entitled “Otter Creek Courtship.” This was an unprecedented accomplishment since no carver in the past had won three different World Class categories.

In 2001, Pat returned to the World Championships and took Best in World with his decorative miniature “Spruce Grouse on the North River.” Two black ducks and a hybrid mallard won him Best in World Shootin’ Rig, an unprecedented fourth World Class category title.

Pat’s many other awards include Best in Shows at the Canadian Open Wildfowl Carving Competition, the Gulf South Carving Competition, the California Open Carving Competition, the Pacific Flyway Competition, the North American Wildfowl Carving Competition, and the Northern Nationals Wildfowl Carving Competition.

bird8Pat’s wildfowl carvings can be found in the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Salisbury, Md., as well as many private collections. His work has also been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute in Wash., D.C. and at the “Birds in Art” exhibition at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wis. In 1993, Pat was invited to represent North American carvers at the opening of the International Bird Carving Exhibition in Yokohama, Japan. In 1994 Pat was inducted into the Waterfowl Festival Hall of Fame in Easton, Md. In the fall of 2001, the City of Brantford, Ontario, inducted Pat into the Walk of Fame along with other notable individuals including Wayne Gretzky and Alexander Graham Bell.

Publications that Pat has written, illustrated, and designed include instructional books for bird carvers: Championship Waterfowl Patterns, Volumes One, Two, Three and Four. He recently collaborated with Stackpole Books by illustrating and providing text for Reference Guide: Waterfowl II.

He currently resides with his wife Jessica and three children—Jim, Ben and Emilie—in Paris, Ontario, Canada.



CLICK HERE to visit Pat Godin’s website.

Comments are closed.