He soon decided that he did not want to make a living by making competition grade decoys. He turned toward old style decoys and slowly introduced them into his displays at shows. Collectors became interested and so a style was found that he enjoyed making and collectors enjoyed purchasing.
Loving the old working decoys from times gone by, he became a full-time professional carver in 1986. With this new focus, Reg Birch changed his way of carving and started to work with hand tools only, leaving behind the power tools which most decorative decoy makers use. In addition, since the old-time decoy makers used oil paint exclusively, he switched from acrylic paint to oil paint. These changes were needed in order to produce decoys which resembled the old models.
Reg Birch refined his work by studying construction and paint styles of old decoys which, by that time, he had started to collect. Today, he uses this knowledge in creating artwork that looks as if it is 100 years old, using white cedar as his wood of preference, which is commonly used on the United States' East Coast. Close attention to the surface of his work is what makes it interesting. The word "patina" is commonly used when describing his work. Carving and painting on the basis of these old traditions has brought him acclaim in the decoy market. In addition to creating old-looking working decoys, this focus has made him devote a small percentage of his time to restoring carvings from the past for his clients.
Being from Virginia, Reg Birch particularly likes the work of the old Virginia decoy makers. However, his style can vary from a South Carolina mallard to a common eider from Maine - and from all areas in between. Reg creates his own style of decoys; most of his artwork is one of a kind. However, if you see something on this site which you would like to have in a similar version or if you have a certain region or even a particular maker you admire, he is glad to discuss this with you.
Reg Birch attends only one show during the entire year. This is the annual Easton Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland, held on the second weekend of November. As of 2013, he has a continuous record of attending since 1986.
For any questions, possible commissions or prices, you are welcome to contact Reg Birch at email@example.com.