Carl was born in 1939 and now hails from Cape haze Florida, but is formerly from Schenectady (Niskayuna) New York. Carl started doing ice fishing decoys in the late 80s along with shore bird decoys duck decoys, and fishing folk art. Sold thousands of decoys over the years. Did most of the shows on the N/E coast and Florida.
Carl Jensen, Sr., was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He left Brooklyn in 1957- yes, the same year as the Dodgers. Carl received his Bachelor’s degree in 1961 and went on to teach Fine Arts at the secondary education level.
Carl’s illustrious teaching career was cut short due to a draft notice and the birth of his beautiful and smart first-born daughter. After being discharged from the army, he entered the “Corporate World of Insurance”, where he wasted 29 years. During that time, Carl came to the realization that his time in the army was not as bad as he had originally thought, so he joined the National Guard and Reserves as a part time job. Many years later, and after training many army personnel at home and abroad in Germany, Carl retired as Colonel.
In 1992, Carl left the corporate/civilian world. Following a short turn as a “Whale” artisan, he devoted his time and energy to creating bird and fish carvings. His work began as reliefs, but Carl soon moved on to “3-dimensional” decoys and antique replications. After urging from friends and family, Carl decided to hit the traveling circuit and display his hobby of detailed carvings at juried Decoy, Craft, and Outdoor Sportsman Shows all around New England.
The response to Carl’s original style of decoys was so great that he continued to carve and craft authentic-looking shorebirds, fish, boats, lures, and general Americana items. The overall response to his style of decoys was so encouraging, and the demand was so great, that he began to build up his “inventory”. While he made decoys for gifts for friends and family for many years, the word quickly got around. His work started appearing in antique and gift stores up and down the Eastern shore-board and across the country as far as California and Washington state. He has been featured in newspaper and magazine articles, and his work has appeared on television. Carl had several items on display at the Harve de Grace Decoy Museum in Maryland, as well.
All of Carl’s items are handmade and hand-painted designs without the use of patterns, replicating machines, or outside help. Through this dedicated effort, no two items are ever exactly alike; they are truly “one-of-a-kind”. Carl has perfected a hand-crafted antique finish that he uses on most of his original decoys. He makes everything meticulously and carefully by hand and thus cannot possibly keep up with current demand. When asked why Carl does not go to “assembly” lines or replication machines, he quickly and honestly replies that it would no longer be a “Carl’s hand-carved original”. He is that dedicated to his craft.
Carl’s decoys are so sought after by many dealers and buyers that he has found it impossible to meet shop orders and supply enough inventory for the fairs and shows. Through the magic of eBay, he can now cut back on traveling to shows, meeting dealer demands, and spend more time watching his health. This makes for a much more relaxed and creative environment that allows for a less hurried production schedule. Overall, this adds more careful detail and quality to Carl’s extraordinary and dedicated work that you will cherish and admire for many years to come.
In addition to his fine carvings and Americana, Carl looks for and bids on fiber decoys that he refinishes. He has also been known to refinish an occasional old fishing reel or rod, and delights in special yard-sale finds. Carl has a wonderful sense humor, which frequently comes across in e-mail exchanges. . He takes great pride in his work and offers uncommonly good customer service and value. He is a genuine and sincere person, which obviously comes across in his work.
755 Rotonda Circle
Cape Haze, Fl 33948
Information provide by Carl Jensen (2/13/06)