Bruce Eppard

Bruce Eppard

decoy carving Royal Oak, MD
Photo Credit: photo courtesy of artist
Bruce Eppard

Bruce Eppard is a retired commercial banker, having worked for SunTrust (now Truist) and its predecessor banks for 43 years in Washington and Baltimore. He lives in Royal Oak, Maryland, with his wife, Ellen, and his black Lab, Cody. Eppard has been carving wildfowl and decoys since 1985. He began carving decorative wildfowl after being inspired by the late Ray Whetzel, a longtime master carver. After adopting Whetzel as a mentor and with help from “how to” books and seminars, his carving improved enough to begin competing.

Until the pandemic in 2020, he had a string of 26 years of winning ribbons at the Ward World Championship in Ocean City, Maryland. With a growing interest in old decoys, a seminar featuring the use of a draw knife and the addition of competition categories for “contemporary antiques,” his focus has shifted over the past 10-15 years to carving decoys made to look old. In 2013, Eppard won the world title for contemporary antiques at the Ward World Championship with a John Graham-Ben Dye influenced Canvasback drake. Using only hand tools, his focus now is to continue carving decoys in the old tradition and honor the heritage of decoy carving on the Chesapeake Bay.

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