In 1960 one of George W. Walker's sons challenged him to carve and paint a decoy. George, a mason and a cabinet maker by trade, accepted the challenge and vigorously applied his artistic abilities to carving decoys.
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Encouraged by family and friends he entered his decoy carvings in the amateur class in several competitions throughout the U.S. and in three years' time carved his way to the championship level.
Working as a decoy carver, George W. understood the needs of his fellow carvers in preparing their decoys; and he experimented with new and innovative techniques for making decoys, such as using flexible shaft machines and feather burning.
The Chesterfield Craft Shop was established in 1965 and George W. began to sell various woodcarving supplies that he found to be the best for decoy carving. George W. was not only able but also willing to teach techniques and to demonstrate tools to decoy carvers who sought his advice.
George W. Walker had become a renowned decoy carver and show judge; and, at this stage of his decoy carving career, he found that no reliable and economical direct contact burner was available on the market. So George W. and his son, George F., developed the Feather Etcher and introduced it to the woodcarving world.
In the mid 1970's Richard Walker, George W.'s son, started Dolington Woodcrafts making competition quality decoy blanks from patterns that his dad carved for him.
In August 1991 George W. Walker passed on and his son, George F., took over the operation of the Chesterfield Craft Shop.
In 1998 Dolington Woodcrafts merged with the Chesterfield Craft Shop and Brian Walker, George F.'s son, took over the operation of carving the decoy blanks. (Richard Walker retired as owner/operator of Dolington Woodcrafts.)
Brian studied under his Uncle Richard for some time and learned the operation of the multiple spindle carver
as well as hollowing and gluing the bodies together, gluing the heads on the bodies, and handsanding the assembled decoy blank. Handsanding is a critical step in retaining the conformation of the decoy.
The models that Brian uses are patterned after his grandfather's award-winning decoys. Brian Walker's workshop is located in Rock Cave, West Virginia. Brian's Dad, George F. Walker, passed on July 5, 2017. Brian now operates the Chesterfield Craft Shop.
The Chesterfield Craft Shop is a family-owned business that maintains the same business philosophy that was established in 1965 -- reliable service and customer satisfaction.