Duck dynamo PDF Print E-mail
Written by DEBBIE ROGERS Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 05 December 2013 10:47
Sara Clark holds her wood carving that  won first place and best in show at the Ward World Duck Decoy Carving Competition in Maryland. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Over the years, in her art classes, Sara Clark had dabbled in most mediums, including metals, pastels, paint and glass.
It was early in her senior year at Bowling Green High School when art teacher Lloyd Triggs asked her to try something different: wood carving. Specifically, digging out a duck decoy.
Sure, Clark replied, not knowing at the time that the carving - a 6-inch silhouette of a piping plover - would be a months-long project.
The work paid off, however, with Clark winning first place and best in show at the Ward World Duck Decoy Carving Competition in Maryland. Her work has also been published in Ward World's magazine.
"I've never carved before, but I have done art my whole life," she said.
Clark started the carving last fall, but almost didn't finish it when two people she was close to died suddenly. She picked the work up again in early spring and spent countless hours, constantly tweaking the bird.
"And Mr. Triggs, he would always push me, 'make it better, make it better.' I really like that about him," Clark said. "He pushed me to my limits to be a better artist."
Triggs got a group of students together for carving and brought in the carvers group for extra guidance.
"I am interested in woodcarving and I have been working with the Maumee Bay Carvers," Triggs said in an email. "I heard about this opportunity from the Ward Museum to introduce children of various ages to the art of wood carving decoys, the Ward World Competition.  
"Two carvers, Bob Lund and Steve Secord, came to my classroom multiple times in the evening to demonstrate and help the students. We set up a club, where students worked on wood carving. Last year we worked on the piping plover decoy. This year we are working on a puffin. I teach drawing and painting, so this project did not fit into my syllabus."
Clark, Triggs said, was a good fit for the carving technique - even if she didn't know it right away.
"Sara is a hard worker and put a lot of time into her project. She also has taken four years of art at the high school. This project fit with her interests, nature and art," he said.
Clark noted that every single piece of art in her BGHS senior studio show had an animal or fish theme.
"I've always loved animals." She added, "There's so much beauty in nature."
Her love of horses led to a love of science, specifically genetics. She took a course on equine genetics and reproduction a few years ago and was hooked. Clark's also been involved in 4-H.
Her horse, Roy, has spurred her interest in science, too. He has a genetic disease, hyperkalemic periodic paralysis. According to the University of California Veterinary Genetics Laboratory website, HYPP is an inherited disease of the muscle which is caused by a genetic defect.
Clark, who is 18, graduated from BGHS in May and now attends the University of Cincinnati where she is majoring in biology.
In college, science is dominating her time, with none left right now to pursue art. She's also on the equestrian team at UC.
Clark may be able to minor in art, and will get confirmation on that in the spring.
"She is a very dedicated student, willing to go beyond the basic requirements. I was really pleased for her; this award spotlights her talent. I hope that she continues with art," Triggs said.
As for the duck carving, it will take up residence in a lakehouse that her family is building in Michigan.
Clark also had two pieces in the local FOCUS art show in September get a top-20 award, and had three pieces make it through the first round of judging for the 2013 Ohio Governor's Art Show.

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