Jensen, John Marlowe Sr. – Frazee, MN

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Turtle – 4″ long/2″ across – 1999

John was born on November 21, 1929 in Minneapolis, MN, and resided
in Frazee Mn, until he passed away on June 13th, 2003. He started carving
in 1938. In the beginning he only carved animals ,then from 1950 to 1957 he
began making a few fish decoys. In 1983 he was actively carving fish decoys
again after a few years off.
All of John’s fish decoys are hand carved with a knife and all are hand
brush painted, primarily using oils. He is one of the few remaining carvers
still using these traditional techniques. John has made more than 650 fish
decoys thus far and he now averages about 35 decoys per year.
There is currently more than a 4 year waiting list for John’s fish decoys.
This waiting list has affected the value of his existing fish decoys.
Currently his decoys of about 10″ length are trading at $450 to $850. Longer
decoys such as his 23″ Northern Pike trade between $2,700 and $3,500. Rare
one-of-a kind fish decoys trade at $4,500 or more. His handcrafted fishing
lures trade from $200 to $350 each.
John has been and currently is registered in the Minnesota State Arts Board,
Folk Art Directory. John also has stack of awards and has made a significant
contribution to the State of Minnesota’s Arts Board.

Also See article in:
Decoy Magazine
January/February 1995
“John Jensen – Carving realistic fish decoys”
by Steve Kranstover

Pictures provided by Mark Greenig (ebay ID mgdecoys)

Last updated on
August 25, 2007

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