• Floyd with banjoBirds and banjos: these are a few of my favorite things. Peregrine falcon and a Deering Eagle II Banjo.
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Floyd Scholz, Master Carver

"As one of the fastest growing and most collectable art forms in the world today, decorative bird carving has earned it's place among the most admired and respected of all the traditional North American arts. The magical diversity in size, shape and coloration of birds is dazzling. It's no wonder they have been celebrated throughout the centuries in art, music and literature!"

"Their mesmerizing effect on humans is unmatched by any other group of animals, and as you learn more about them... it's easy to see why!"

News Archives

2020 Notes from Floyd...

9/2 Greetings friends!

I hope that you and all those you love are staying safe, happy and healthy as together we cast our weary eyes upon the calendar while shaking our heads in disbelief!

As the days melt into weeks which melt into months, it's the uncertainty of the situation that I find most unnerving. As I write this, I am still at my Florida studio. I will return to my beloved Vermont, but I just don't know when. With that in mind, I must regrettably inform all that I will be cancelling my September offerings… Let me assure you, I DO NOT make this decision lightly! But, fear not!! I will be running the exact same schedule in 2021 (of course slightly modifying the dates by one day).

If you wish to apply your deposit for any class next year then you're in! If you have paid a deposit to me and prefer a refund, please contact me and I will be very happy to refund it in full. At this time, I am still holding out hope that I can conduct my October and November classes to salvage something of this year.

Thank you for your understanding but your safely is my utmost concern.

Stay well and remember… WASH YOUR HANDS !!

6/16 ... 1) Truth over Lies
2) Positivity over Negativity
3) Tolerance over Prejudice
4) Empathy over Indifference
5) And choose Experts over Ignoramuses

My dear friends and fellow carvers… Moses had "Ten Commandments." Here's my "Five Commandments" for dealing with the current sad, confusing state of affairs in which we find ourselves.

Due to the current difficulties related to travel, Canadian Border closing, lodging, food and general peace of mind, coming to Vermont to attend a carving seminar with me in Bennington for the next two months won't happen.

I have made the decision to cancel the July "Ladies only" class and also the rescheduled Fluffed up Kestrel. At this time I am still optimistic that we will most certainly proceed with the already scheduled seminars in September, October and November.

Here's the good news!!!!   In 2021 I plan on doing the exact same schedule as we would have done now… For those who have already paid a deposit, I can apply it to your next year's class and will give you a free extra cut-out of our class bird as a "thank you" for working with me! Or, if you choose so, I will have to cough up your deposit $$ and unhappily send it back to you in rolled up quarters…. Thanks, stay safe and WASH YOUR HANDS !!

4/13 “reshuffling” during this storm of uncertainty…

Hi Friends,
I've held off as long as I've been able before making a decision on the 2020 May and June seminars.

My hope, of course, was to run them as originally planned. World events, as they sometimes can do, dictate the conditions under which we live.
I am cancelling NOTHING! Our celebration of Birdcarving together will prevail in 2020!

For those of you who are unable or unwilling to change your travel plans, I promise you will receive a full refund of your deposit unless you wish to apply it to attend another class or if we make other arrangements.

Here are the new dates for the "May" Redtailed Hawk  class and "June" Fluffed up American Kestrel...

Kestrel: doors open at 4:00 pm Sunday July 26th through Wednesday August 5th 12:00 noon.

Miniature highly animated Redtailed Hawk: doors open at 4:00 pm Sunday September 27th till Wednesday October 7th 12:00 noon.

3/24 seminar update...

Hello friends and fellow carvers!

Like all of you, my wife and I have been staying at home and doing our best to stay healthy, happy and busy. No doubt these are challenging times as we do battle with an invisible, potentially deadly enemy.

The months ahead will shed new light upon the direction this will take us. As I write this in mid-March, I plan on waiting until mid-April to make a decision on the May Red-tailed Hawk seminar.

I care very deeply about the health and well-being of each and every one of you and will do nothing to possibly endanger the health of anyone.

In times like these we must all exercise more patience, understanding and trust that this too shall pass.

Should I opt to cancel our May seminar I'll offer you several options regarding your deposits including a full refund if you choose. We're all in this together so stay strong, stay home, stay positive, and stay tuned!

Thanks!
Floyd

2020 (January), the plan...

Hi Friends!

YES … I know just what you're thinking….

“WHAT!!  2020 already??!!“

Sit tight, buckle up and HANG ON! We're entering a new decade and it's going to be quite a ride!

In my humble opinion, there isn't a better antidote to the avalanche of negativity and dire predictions spewing out of the news media every day than settling into your studio and lovingly and skillfully transforming a block of wood into a beautiful bird!

My motto for 2020 is simple: “We're not here for a LONG time, we're here for a GOOD time!”

The Vermont Raptor Academy lineup for 2020 is one of the most varied, exciting, challenging and interesting in quite some time! Dynamic Red-tailed Hawks, Kestrels, Magpies, Saw-Whet Owls... even Boobies! How could it get any better??

C'mon and join me in beautiful Bennington, Vermont and let's prove to the naysayers that this Ol' World can be a pretty good place after all! Join me and you'll  learn what everyone's been talking about all these years! You WILL improve your carving and painting skills… that's a promise, BUT... my jokes and the gourmet food are really what it's all about!

See you soon!


Floyd Scholz

2019 Note from Floyd...

Happy 2019 Everyone!
How can it possibly get any better?
Well... Glad you asked!
As a renewed sense of optimism, opportunity and improvements fill the Vermont Raptor Academy at the Laumeister Art Center, the 2019 carving chips are ready to fly!

C'mon up to the V.R.A., turn off the news and just focus on and immerse yourself in your art!  If you're serious about improving your Carving and Painting skills, then this is your place!

With more than 50 years of carving behind me and 30 years of teaching carving seminars I've never been more excited about the upcoming lineup of carving subjects and possibilities as what you'll see offered for 2019.

The quality of the carvings produced and the friendships made speak for themselves. As so many have said: "I arrived as a student, and left as a friend."
Seminars at the Vermont Raptor Academy have evolved into so much more than just: "here's how to carve a Bird." We build your confidence in knowing that you will leave buoyed by the know-how to go home and tackle all those projects you've only dreamed about doing!

With each passing year I try and improve upon every level of what there is to offer you the student. Rest assured, I'm nowhere near the end of where I plan to be, but in 2019 it's FULL STEAM AHEAD in giving you the best there is to offer!

Hope to see you soon!


Floyd Scholz

2018 Note from Floyd...

Happy New Year fellow bird and art lovers!

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the passing of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act which offered federal protection to wild birds of all shapes and sizes.

2018 is the YEAR of the BIRD so let's celebrate!

There has never been a better time to come and join me in celebrating the beauty and majesty of the wonderous creatures.

As you'll discover when you peruse the 2018 Vermont Raptor Academy schedule, Owls will be the stars of the show! Life-size Barn Owls will "book-end" this year's offerings.

So... in case you may be thinking "How's Floyd?" I am READY!!

With my medical issues now a distant memory and enjoying better health than I've known in a long time, I am enthusiastically anticipating the time we'll spend together carving, painting and learning more about the beautiful, traditional artform of bird carving. I hope to see you in 2018!


Floyd Scholz

...never better, June 2017!

Greetings all! Summertime is upon us! Carving seminars and renewed friendships await!

Open Heart Surgery was an experience I care not to repeat... but it saved my life! A positive attitude and the love and support of family and friends helped me come through it a better person. I've learned long ago that it's not WHAT happens to you, but HOW you react to it that determines the outcome! After emerging from the dark, challenging, painful "tunnel" of the past several months I'm happy to report that I'm healing great and feeling energized and more excited than ever to resume my creative endeavors!

2017 is shaping up to be one of the most promising and exciting years at the Vermont Raptor Academy in a long time! With a line up of beautiful, challenging and rewarding birds offered in this year's classes, I can tell you that I can't wait to get the smell of Tupelo dust and burned wood back in the air!

Get ready, rest up and I'll see you all soon!

...a curveball, March 2017!

Hello Friends,
Sometimes life throws a curveball. I'm having open-heart surgery the latter part of this month and have to modify my seminar schedules. Unfortunately, I have to cancel the May Marsh Hawk seminar. The June Sharp-shinned Hawk is being moved from 4-14 to 19-29. I need a minimum of three full months recovery. Luckily I'm really healthy and heal fast. Please be patient; I want to give the best that I can in my seminars.

3/22/17: Floyd reports that he's on the "Fast Track" to recovery!

Floyd's Big Adventure!

"I had the incredible opportunity to create a very special carving for David Ortiz, better known as "Big Papi," the retired slugger and team leader of the Boston Red Sox, AND to present it to him at his charity golf tournament in the Dominican Replublic." Read more...

...and suddenly, it's 2017!

It's been said... "Time flies when you're having fun!" Well... for those of you who have attended any of my seminars in the past, the passage of "Time" can take on a whole new meaning! At the Vermont Raptor Academy, and in Gwinn, Michigan at Krausmann's, in addition to "FUN," toss in... Hard work, Focus, Creativity, Learning, Confidence, Accomplishment, and most importantly... Improvement! Then you'll see, Time won't simply "Fly." It will seem as though it's reached LIGHT SPEED!!

As I look back on 2016, my own studio work and seminars can best be summed up with three words: anticipation, excitement and accomplishment! Now approaching my 49th year of carving and painting birds, I'm more excited now than ever before and here's why I know the best has yet to come!

Once you see the seminar lineup for 2017, I'm sure you'll feel the same way I do! Let me enthusiastically encourage you to make the commitment to better yourself, meet new friends, and get ready for yet another year of even more learning! From Flickers to Falcons, there's something for everyone in all skill levels. Adding to your improvements in technique and skill, you'll come away from my seminars with a renewed sense of confidence. That's right—confidence in the fact that you can take your carvings to a higher level and amaze not just those around you, but yourself as well! I look forward to seeing you soon!


Floyd Scholz

Celebrating 20 years of Vermont Raptor Academy

May 12, 1996 was the first seminar in the Hancock, VT Schoolhouse!

2016

Hello to my fellow carvers and friends. The days, weeks and months of 2015 whizzed by like a hungry Peregrine Falcon in pursuit of prey.

Turning my thoughts towards this upcoming new year, I'm as excited as ever about the potential and continuing evolution of Bird carving and its place among the great artistic movements of the past and present century. Feast your eyes on the new line up of exciting and challenging seminars I'll be teaching at the Vermont Raptor Academy and at Krausman's in Gwinn, Michigan.

In this age of addictive digital magic and instant, "downloadable" information overload, it's comforting to know that the traditional arts are still alive and well. During the past couple of years I`ve been noticing a greater appreciation for and premium prices paid for top level, handmade art. Collectors, like anyone, must be growing weary of the annual, frantic commercial push towards faster, smaller and cheaper gadgets.

The "Arms Race of mass produced mediocrity" will go on, but when the spark of inspiration hits, I'm just happy to work in the solace of my carving Studio doing what I love most... Listening to music, researching, designing new compositions and carving birds.

Happy carving!

Floyd Scholz

June 12, 2015

Hello friends! It's early summer here in Vermont, and the surrounding forests and fields are undergoing an explosion of new life. A lively chorus of songbirds harken in each new day around 5:30 am.  As the sun begins to climb you can almost watch the buds opening and see the grass growing! Ah the sights, sounds and smell of late spring!

Here in my studio, my thoughts, focus and energies turn toward completing two very important commissions, and of course preparing for my upcoming seminars! A lot of planning and preparation go into each class long before the first students ever arrive. To ensure each event runs smoothly, I try to anticipate the needs of the students and address any difficulties which may arise well in advance. I firmly believe that good preparation is the key to success and completion...

Happy carving!  Floyd

April 8, 2015 note from Floyd

"Hello friends and fellow carvers! I'm hard at work finishing a couple of really cool carvings for the upcoming World Championships in a few weeks... Hope to see you there!"

"In the meantime, if you are considering joining me this year to take a class, you'd better decide soon as all the seminars are filling up and I'd sure hate for you to miss out! Sign up today! You'll be glad you did."

Floyd Scholz Honored as Living Legend 2014

Floyd was honored with a Ward Foundation 2014 Living Legends Award at the Ward World Championship Wildfowl Carving Competition, April 25, 2014 by The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Ocean City, Maryland.

(Updated) Website Launch 2013

"I'd like to extend a special invitation to you! Together let's explore my exciting world of Birds, Art, Woodcarvings, Literature and Learning. As you delve deeper into my website, my love of Birds and passion for Art will shine through. I'd like to share with you my 46 year journey celebrating the splendor of the birds around us through the beautiful and traditional art of bird carving." Continue...

Press, Presentations

  • November 25, 2015: Datchworth, England, presentation and book signing at the Datchworth Community Center.
  • November 18, 2015: Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, Welwyn, UK The Wonder of Raptors Presentation.
  • November 15, 2015: London, England Book signing at the British Museum.
  • September 12, 2015: Wausau, Wisconsin, Birds in Art at the Woodson Museum.
  • August 8, 2015: Manchester, Vermont, American Museum of Fly Fishing book signing, Q&A and display.
  • June 12-13, 2015: Caracas, Venezuela, TV and Radio appearances about the diversity and beauty of tropical birds and how that translates into objects of Art.
  • April 24-26, 2015: Ocean City Maryland, Ward Foundation World Wildfowl Carving Competition at the Roland Powell Convention Center.
  • Sept 2011: Carving and Techniques lecture at Connecticut Audubon Society Birds In Their Habitat Exhibit

Studio Location

Scholz's studio is located in Bennington, Vermont at the Bennington Center for the Arts.