About Me

Joseph M. Boek

I began working with wood during the last year of my career as a civil engineer with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. While working in the environmental field full time, I could spend only evenings and weekends on this hobby. As my skills improved and I enjoyed carving more and more, my impending retirement looked better and better. It is most fortunate to have developed a strong interest in carving as the date of retirement approached. In December of 2001 I retired from the NYCDEP and since then have spent much of my time sculpting animals in wood. I live just outside the hamlet of Woodstock, New York with my wife Dagmar. Our two sons Steven and Daniel have left the nest for Port Ewen, New York and Allentown Pennsylvania, respectively.

I joined the Catskill Mountain Wood Carvers club in Kingston, in 2001, and now serve as its president. The members are patient and generous with their knowledge and experience and introduced me to different types of carving. Subsequently, I joined the Northeastern Woodworkers Association and the Hudson Valley Wood Carvers, two other organizations with people who offer help to those who need it. I was also welcomed into the Woodstock Artist Association, the Woodstock Guild, the Arts Society of Kingston and the Ulster County Arts Council.

Looking for carving ideas, I became increasingly aware of the Catskill Mountain birds around and about. These were the next subjects of my carving work and to date remain my greatest passion. Carving and painting go hand in hand. One without the other, cannot produce realistic wildlife. The freedom that came with retirement, and an understanding wife, made it possible to attend formal classes from the masters in carving and painting. Studying with world champion carvers soon began to pay off.

Sculpting birds provides fulfillment. They are carved out of wood using both hand and power tools. White pine, basswood, tupelo, butternut, mahogany, walnut and cherry are among the woods used for wildlife creations. After being carved, they are finished with either clear coatings to exhibit the fantastic natural grain of certain woods, or, acrylic and oil paints to closely resemble the actual coloring of the wildlife.
I have carved chickadees, wrens, purple finches, gold finches, warblers, nuthatches, tufted titmice, humming birds, prairie falcons, peregrine falcons, saw-whet owls, snowy owls, great horned owls, kestrels, bass, trout, pelicans, killdeer, bear, mice, chipmunks, deer, otters, seagulls, various ducks, loons, bobwhites, mourning doves, robins and red tailed hawks. Many of these pieces are shown on this website.

One of the goals I have set for myself is to carve in fine detail and accurately paint (realistic - decorative) each of the birds that lives in the Catskill Mountains. That goal, together with commissions and routine carvings for local sales will keep me busy for a few years.
Carving at a recent workshop - learning from the very best!
Improving Skills
Joseph M. Boek 1 Raymond Drive Woodstock, NY 12498 Phone (845) 679-7165

Copyright Joseph M. Boek (2003), Design & Programming by Sobcon Inc. (2003)