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Madras carvers win blue ribbons

by: Photo by Susan Matheny - High Desert Carvers members Bill Montgomery, left, Sharon Miller, and Royce Embanks show their prize-winning carvings from the Columbia Flyway Show.


   Wood carvings by three Madras artists recently won blue ribbons at the Columbia Flyway Wildlife Show, held Sept. 8 and 9, in Vancouver, Wash.
   Sharon Miller took first place and Best of Division in the pigeon category at the novice level, for her carving of a band-tailed pigeon.
   Bill Montgomery won a first place award and Best of Division in the mammals category, at the intermediate level, for his whimsical carving of a bowl full of sleeping mice.
   Royce Embanks took first place in the "Soon to be Antique" category, at the open level, for his recreation of an antique brand goose decoy.
   The Columbia Flyway Show is in its 26th year of competition, and is a member of the International Wildlife Carvers Association.
   The Flyway show specializes in wood carvings of birds, fish and mammals. There are 10 categories and twice as many subcategories.
   Carvings range from realistic ones, to highly-structured, decorative, floating decoys.
   Annually, there are 15 shows in the U.S., and two in Canada, culminating in the Ward World Foundation Show in Salsbury, Md.
   All three Madras winners are members of the High Desert Carvers Club.
   Miller and Embanks, who operate Studio on Fifth with photographer Tom Miller, started the carving club in 2003 to encourage people to try the craft. Montgomery has been a member since 2008, and the three enjoy competing at carving shows.
   "There is no other Central Oregon carving club we know of, and no art shows that feature carved birds and fish," Embanks said, noting they would like to hold a show in Madras.
   To see more of the award-winning carvers' work, stop by the studio at 220 S.W. Fifth St., Madras, on Saturdays.
   The High Desert Carvers meet from 6-8 p.m., the second and fourth Thursdays of the month, at the studio. Dues are $20 per year.
   For more information, contact Embanks at 541-475-5557, or the Millers at 541-475-4235, or view their Facebook page at facebook.com/RoyceEmbanksWoodcarver.