Ira started carving in 1982 and is self-taught. To create a truly realistic piece has taken Ira a tremendous amount of time studying bird mounts at places like the Harvard Museum, collecting and looking at countless reference photographs, observing birds in the wild, and reading about their anatomy and individual traits -- and the studying continues every day. He also worked with a bird bander to handle live birds, and took a bird taxidermy course at the Audubon Society of New Hampshire.
Awards and Publicity:
During his career he has won first place ribbons in the highest levels of competition both regionally and nationally. In 1989 he was commissioned to do the New Hampshire state emblems, including a Purple Finch, which were presented to Governor Gregg, and are on permanent display at the State Capitol Visitor's Center in Concord, NH. He has also created work for the NH Historical Society, NH Antiquarian Society, NH Fish & Game, Science Center of NH, Audubon Society of NH, and was asked to do a carving by the Clinton Administration for the White House. Ira's work has been featured in many newspapers and magazines, on radio, and on local and national television stations. His birds have been in galleries in New Hampshire, on Cape Cod, New Jersey, and in the Trump Tower in New York City.
Partial Listing of Awards Received:
Work On Permanent Exhibit:
State Capitol Visitor's Center, Concord, NH -- Purple Finch -- In 1989 Ira was commissioned to do the NH state emblems, including a Purple Finch, which were presented to Governor Gregg.
Audubon Society of NH, Concord, NH -- Watercolor Painting of a Red-tailed Hawk -- 1986
NH Antiquarian Society Museum, Hopkinton, NH -- Purple Finch 1993
NH Historical Society, Concord, NH -- Hanging Chickadee (for public education and preservation of realistic bird carving as an important art form) -- 1994
Science Center of NH, Holderness, NH -- 1996 commissioned to do a hummingbird carving for their new building
White House, Washington, DC -- Carved an ornament for the White House Christmas Tree in 1996, and carved a Chickadee in Flight for the White House Christmas Tree in 2002
Partners in Flight -- an international neo-tropical migratory bird conservation program: In 1992 Ira was commissioned by the NH Fish & Game Department to produce thirteen carvings of neo-tropical birds seen in NH for participation in this program. These birds were the highlight of this educational exhibit touring New Hampshire from November 1992 through September 1993 to help promote awareness and action for protection of these birds. Thirty percent of sales from these works was donated to the program.
Lectures, Classes, Demonstrations, Judging, Etc.
League of NH Craftsmen Juror 1988 to 1999 for the wood and bird carving categories, and starting again in 2008
Taught bird carving classes through the Audubon Society of NH and League of NH Craftsmen since 1988 (no longer teaching adult classes)
Bird carving lectures in 1990 and 1993 at the Hopkinton Antiquarian Society, Hopkinton, NH
Gave an educational seminar in 1992 to all of the League of NH Craftsmen shop managers throughout NH on the art of bird carving and how to jury work submitted for sale
Demonstrated at various schools including a 10th grade art class at Trinity High School in Manchester in June 1992, as well as 5th graders at Maple Street School in Hopkinton, NH from 1990 to 1998 -- talks to students about art as a career
Asked by the Clinton Administration to do an ornament carving for the White House Christmas Tree -- 1995, 1996 -- received an invitation to see the tree in person and thank you letter with an original signature from Hillary Clinton
Taught children's carving class at the NH Historical Society, Concord, NH