(Living Creatively in Your World)
Ross Shourds started working in his uncle Harry V Shourds’ workshop when he was 10 years old, and was allowed to carve his first decoys when he turned 14. His uncle and father learned from his grandfather Harry Mitchell Shourds, who learned from his great-grandfather, Harry Vanuckson “Nucky” Shourds.
"I was taught to carve by my father and uncle, who were taught by their father, who was taught by his. Carving has been an important family tradition for over 100 years. I never had any doubt that I would become a woodcarver. I’ve now been involved in this art for 40 years, and I still love it all - the smell of the wood, the peacefulness of carving, and most importantly, the idea of keeping tradition alive."
Trained by his family in the coastal birds of Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, Ross moved as an adult to Northern Pennsylvania and adapted his work to fit the needs of farmers and hunters in that region by carving crows, geese and other "nuisance" birds. While the cost of a handmade decoy is an investment that many in the field are not willing to make, the fact that Northern Tier customers use Shourds’ decoys in their work, play, and display presents a compelling story of the significance of his craft.