Otto Garren (1890-1968) Canton, IL
Otto Garren started carving decoys at the age of sixteen and did not cease until he turned eighty-two (Loomis 387). He produced large quantities of Canada goose and coot decoys that were popular with local hunters, and he was known as one of the few Illinois River carvers that made a substantial amount of wood duck decoys. Most of the birds were constructed of two pieces of hollowed white pine joined with nails. Garren used glass eyes and brush-painted the surfaces to create a realistic appearance. About five thousand decoys and hundreds of miniatures in a variety of Slzes came out of Garren's workshop (Loomis 387). Between the stool and the decoratives, Garren represented almost all species of waterfowl common to Illinois. Though his more recent decoys bear more stylized and brighter paint jobs, Garren's style changed little over the years. Otto Garren stood by his workmanship and trusted his carving talents enough to shoot over his own decoys.