Michael has been creating bird and fish carvings professionally since 1988. Inspired by the early North American decoys Michael’s stylised curvilinear representations of wildfowl and waders have now evolved into a style and form collected by many.
From Wrens to Bewicks Swans each sculpture is unique, hewn from blocks of wood using drawknives and spokeshaves and then sympathetically painting them using acrylic paint.
Work can be purchased directly from galleries throughout the U.K.
Michael Lythgoe was born in Liverpool in 1950. He served an apprenticeship in engineering with Unilever and, on completion in 1970, he joined the Merchant Navy as a junior engineering officer.
Marrying in 1975 he continued his love of travel and emigrated to Canada settling in St. Catharines Ontario and working in the ship building industry. Living and working on the shores of Lake Ontario he was able to pursue his hobby of bird photography spending countless hours observing the birdlife of the region. As often as possible he took canoe trips on the lakes of northern Ontario to photograph and study the Loon, his favourite species.
On a trip to Cape Cod he purchased an old wooden decoy which sits proudly in his workshop today. This carving inspired Michael to change direction and, upon returning to the U.K. in 1986 with his wife and two children, he embarked on his new career.
A sell out show at the William Marler Gallery Cirencester in 1988 and the winning of the European Decoy Carving Championships, enabled Michael to begin his new way of life.
His work has evolved into a style and form unique to him. Curvaceous and calming, the eye of the ornothologist and craftsman are clearly visible.