Dan Abernathy, “A Bird In Hand …” by Dan
Dan’s initial attraction to birds began at the age of about 4 years when he seriously thought that he could put salt on the tails of the snow birds (Juncos) and catch them. Around the age of 5 his father took him dove hunting and the attraction to birds began to grow.
Bird carving/sculpting started as a hobby for Dan but has became a major activity for him for the past 30 years. His carving studies began at John C. Campbell Folk School. Later carving classes were taken under 3 Ward Foundation “Best In World” master carvers, primarily to study specific techniques of each, with the intent of establishing his own unique style of bird carvings. As a result of these classes he began using small hand powered tools (instead of knives) and related equipment to do the carvings. Dan has exhibited his work in juried art shows and museums in the Southeast and received many cash prizes and awards. Dan is a past member of Southern Highlands Craft Guild and Piedmont Craftsmen. He currently is a member of the North Carolina Mountain Arts Adventure in Alleghany County and an exhibitor at the annual North Carolina Wildlife Habitat Foundation. For the past 10 years he has taught bird carving at John C. Campbell Folk School. In 2002 he exhibited a bird carved explicitly for the White House Christmas Tree. There are numerous collectors of his birds in the Southeast and the District of Columbia. Dan’s carvings range from a Bald Eagle in flight (6’-10”) to perched or in flight Humming Birds and many species in between.