If you have any questions, or wish to place a custom order, or simply to say hello, feel free to drop me a line. I do occasionally carve custom orders and will gladly give you an estimate for anything you submit, however, custom orders are more expensive, generally, than a comparable piece from my inventory, and I work them into my daily schedule and thus they will not be finished promptly. I do give you a time frame for when you can expect an order completed, and will meet that deadline, but it will most likely be several weeks. The reasons are somewhat complicated, but the following is the best explanation I can give you:
The lion’s share of my income comes from sales of stock that I have posted on Etsy, eBay, and now this site. I try to replace each item as it sells and also to regularly expand my inventory with new items. On a typical day, I’ll start with an eight-foot 2×12. Let’s say I decide that I need to replace a few bass, a tiger fish, octopus, blue crab, and an armadillo. I go to my board with my pencil and reference photos of these creatures. I look at the knots, cracks, and generally how the grains run through the wood. I may decide from the beginning that this piece of wood is too fragile to even consider an octopus or crab, and cross those off the list immediately. Now I begin to draw off my remaining items. Now I’ve got to decide what length to make each item. As I look at the knots and where they appear, I realize that I’ve got to make a tiger fish, a large bass, and two armadillos. The reason is that because of the size and location of the knots, I’d either have to carve one more small bass and have significant waste, or I can carve two armadillos in the same spot sandwiched so that their tails are overlapping each other. As you can probably imagine, a day in which I’ve got to carve a custom piece is much slower in progressing. For a custom job, you must first find the right board. The right board is almost never perfect. There is much more waste. Also, when drawing freehand, it is VERY difficult to draw a subject in a certain stance and have it come out to a certain size! The same problems come into play when it comes to painting. Creatures within a species have many color and marking variations such that a slightly darker or lighter specimen with a few more or less spots, or stripes looks just fine. A custom piece, however, must be a certain shade and the markings must be near perfect! So I hope you can see this from my perspective. Every item I carve will eventually sell, and I can carve three or four items of my choice in the same time it takes me to carve one custom order.