In his day job, Benjamin Pendleton works with metal as a sheet metal mechanic for DRS.  

But in his off time, Pendleton likes to work with wood. Carving duck decoys is his specialty.

“I enjoy seeing the wood come to life,” he said.

Pendleton said he began carving decoys eight years ago.

“I do hunt,” said Pendleton. “I’ve always had a fascination with birds.”

Pendleton said he uses wood from cypress knees — the structures that form above the roots of a cypress tree — to carve duck decoys and ornaments. Some of his creations are a combination of wood and canvas. Tupelo is one of the materials he often uses, he said.

“My favorite duck to carve is a wood duck,” Pendleton said.

Depending on the style of the work, Pendleton said he’ll refer to pictures of the birds when designing a carving.

He said he uses a bandsaw “to get the rough shape out” of the wood. He then uses a carving knife to transform a piece of wood into a distinct shape of a duck. A high-quality paint gives the ducks their hues.

Creating his wood carvings from start to finish is one of the best aspects of his craft, Pendleton said.

Originally from Elizabeth City, Pendleton said he has always liked attending the Albemarle Craftsman’s Fair, which is held annually at the end of October. It wasn’t until this year, however, that he became a member of the Albemarle Craftsman’s Guild.

As a guild member, he plans to display his work for the first time at the 60th Albemarle Craftsman’s Fair, which will be held Oct. 26-28 at Knobbs Creek Recreation Center.

Pendleton said he’s looking forward to participating in the fair for the first time. At his booth, he plans to display his full-size duck decoys, miniature ducks, miniature birds and icicle ornaments.

Pendleton enjoys spending time with his wife, Sarah, and their sons, Garland and Jonah. Fond of the outdoors, Pendleton likes to fish in the river and mountains and has made flies for fishing.

For more information about the 60th Albemarle Craftsman’s Fair, visit Pendleton’s work can be viewed on his Instagram page @blp_woodworking.