Bill Paterson

An older white man (Bill Paterson) wearing glasses and a blue shirt holds two woodcarvings (Northern Shoveler male and female) in front of a painting of Lake Champing and the Adirondacks.
Bill Paterson holds both male and female Northern Shovelers in front of the Spring Wetland Diorama at the museum.
A woodcarving of a Northern Shoveler sits on clear acrylic "water" over a layer of light brown sand, in front of a pale blue wall.
Bill Paterson’s male Northern Shoveler “swims” in the Wetland Diorama.

Traveling carver

Bill Paterson of Ontario visited the Birds of Vermont Museum for the first time in 2008. While here, he met both Bob Spear and Bob’s apprentice, Ingrid Rhind. A carver himself, Bill was intrigued and never forgot his visit. A few years ago, a friend let him know that Bob had passed away and the museum still had some unfinished carvings.

Bill reached out, offering to carve a Northern Shoveler for the Museum’s collection. Because of covid-19, he was not able to bring the carving to the Museum right after he finished it, so he waited. And waited. And waited.

Fortunately, the delay and the “long winter” gave him the time to carve a female Northern Shoveler, so he surprised us with two carvings when he arrived!

As a kid, Bill liked birds and nature. While a Boy Scout, he learned to whittle and safely use a knife. Encouraged by a an English teacher and a some bird books, he learned more about birds, drawing, and carving. Continuing to learn throughout his life, Bill is now a very accomplished carver; he has won numerous awards. In addition to life-size bird carvings, he does both relief and found-wood carving, as well as creating “smoothies”.

Bill, like so many carvers, is happiest working at home in his workshop, where he shares the bandsaw with his wife. We look forward to featuring Bill again…because the last thing he said as he left the museum was, “I’ll get started on the mallard right away!”.

Contributed Carvings

Northern Shoveler pair


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