Ernie Fox

Born: 1925  |  Died: 1988

Ernie Fox. Sculptor. Woodcarver. Brockville, Ontario. Active mid 20th century.

Ernie Fox was a decoy carver. He also made decorative bird carvings.

“Duck Decoys of the Thousand Islands Area from the Collection of Ernest Edward Fox (1925-1988) Ernie Fox of Brockville, Ontario carved well over a thousand working decoys between 1950 to the mid 1970’s. The decoys on display at Prairie Canada represent Ernie’s work along with those of a number of his friends. A World War11 veteran who lost both his legs in a mortar explosion, Ernie began carving working duck decoys in 1953, mostly cut out of cedar poles donated by hydro workers. Roughed out with a hatchet and hand saw, decoys were final shaped with draw knives and rasps. His first decoys showed some Ferman Eyre and Jack Shepherd influence, but he gradually developed his own graceful black ducks so prized by collectors today. Ernie sold his first decoys for a few dollars each and worked up to $4 to $6 each. He also repaired decoys charging $1 to $2 to strip and repaint a decoy. It is estimated that he repainted 400 to 600 decoys for local hunters. Ernie often helped hunters and friends by selling their old wooden rigs to American collectors and antique dealers who visited him. Without realizing it he helped place 400 to 500 Thousand Islands decoys into collections in the United States. In the 1970’s he turned his carving efforts to decorative decoy carving.”

Quoted from The Prairie Canada News. April 7, 2015. Link here. (pdf):


Ref: Bernie Gates. Ontario Decoys ll . The UpperCanadian. 1986.

Ref: Blake McKendry, An Illustrated Companion to Canadian Folk Art (1999).