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Last Update

2006-12-24T00:00:00.000Z

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Background Information

Employment History

Teacher and Lecturer
American Museum of Natural History

Education

bachelor's degree
zoology
City College of New York

master's degree
animal behavior
University of Wisconsin , Madison

Web References (31 Total References)


Matt Cormons in the Azores ...

birdcarvings.net [cached]

Matt Cormons in the Azores (see below)

...
Carving birds came quite naturally to Matt Cormons. He had always been keenly interested in nature and spent many hours of his childhood in the overgrown lots adjoining his home in New York's East Harlem. It was there that he began to learn about plants and animals (mainly insects). With reading and trips to many of the city's parks (which had a surprising variety of insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds and plants) and zoos, he was well on his way to becoming a fine naturalist. His interests led to a bachelor's degree in zoology from the City College of New York and a master's degree in animal behavior from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Matt had never felt settled in the city and believed that one day he'd leave; it wasn't about to happen soon. After graduating from CCNY he worked for five years at the American Museum of Natural History as a teacher and lecturer, and later as a technical illustrator and field assistant (resulting in two new Venezuelan insect species named after him). After graduate school he taught middle school science at a private school in New York City, followed by twelve years as the director of an environmental education center in a New Jersey suburb across the Hudson from New York.
Finally, in 1985, at the age of 44 (and against the advice of their less venturesome friends, neighbors and family) Matt, his wonderful, always supportive wife Grace, and their two young sons decided to leave New Jersey for their dream of living a more self-sufficient lifestyle away from the intense pace of the city and suburbs. That April they moved to a 43 acre farm on Virginia's Eastern Shore and since then have been living very full, independent, satisfying and busy lives. Their two sons, schooled at home by Matt and Grace, are graduates of the University of Virginia and are also pursuing independent lifestyles (in environmental law and piloting sea vessels).
Geese, ducks, turkeys, guinea fowl, cows, goats, chickens and rabbits provide their meat; the goats and cows also provide milk, cheese and butter, and other milk products. The family also enjoys venison, rabbit, squirrel and other game from their woodland and fields, and a variety of fish from their pond, the nearby bay and ocean. Their fields provide hay for their horses and other livestock, and they grow a variety of vegetables and any fruits they can grow organically (with the help of their honeybees).
In recent years Matt had been assisting Grace in her long term study of the endangered RoseateTern, taking time off each spring from the farm and his carving to trap and band terns in the Azores. The resulting data on the species' movements have been published in leading ornithological journals. In 2010 Matt has been asked to return to the Azores as a consultant to manage a severe predation problem on one of the ilsets.
Matt in his shop
Matt's carving, which fits well into this lifestyle, provides a large part of the family income, but over the years has been supplemented in various ways, including a "family farm and nature camp" for children, leading nature walks at nearby Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge , writing nature articles, reviewing nature manuscripts, growing organic produce for market, selling livestock and hay, and teaching adult education and English as a Second Language courses. Recently Matt has been heavily involved with photography, writing copy, illustrating, sharing ideas and acting as a "facilitator" for an innovative and very successful family literacy program initiated by Grace (see his cartoon of SPARKY, the blue crab mascot for the program, immediately below). He has also had major input into each of the eight acclaimed early reading books resulting from the program; two more are pending. A children's novel Matt has written about an operatic starling has yet to be published.
Latent Talent and Good Luck
Along with his interest in nature, Matt showed an early talent for drawing. His parents, however, had discouraged him from pursuing a career in art. Nor did Matt's father, a highly skilled cabinetmaker who emigrated from northern Italy as a young man, want Matt to follow in his footsteps. But that wasn't the end of it. A year before moving to Virginia, Matt had decided to carve decoys; six months after moving to Virginia he took a decoy carving course with a local carver. Since then Matt has carved about a hundred bird species and, as you can see on this web site, has gone well beyond traditional decoys.
Matt had finally found his niche - applying his artistic talent to wood (to his parents' ultimate delight). By the way, if you're wondering about Cormons being an appropriate name for an Italian cabinetmaker, check out the name in a good atlas or on the internet.
...
Address: Matt Cormons 26201 Dennis Rd. Parksley, VA 23421


mwebMattbio

www.birdcarvings.net [cached]

Matt Cormons in his shop (circa 1990)

...
Carving birds came quite naturally to Matt Cormons.He had always been keenly interested in nature and spent many hours of his childhood in the overgrown lots adjoining his home in New York's East Harlem.It was there that he began to learn about plants and animals (mainly insects).With reading and trips to many of the city's parks (which had a surprising variety of insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds and plants) and zoos, he was well on his way to becoming a fine naturalist.His interests led to a bachelor's degree in zoology from the City College of New York and a master's degree in animal behavior from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Matt had never felt settled in the city and believed that one day he'd leave; it wasn't about to happen soon.After graduating from CCNY he worked for five years at the American Museum of Natural History as a teacher and lecturer, and later as a technical illustrator and field assistant (resulting in two new Venezuelan insect species named after him).After graduate school he taught middle school science at a private school in New York City, followed by twelve years as the director of an environmental education center in a New Jersey suburb across the Hudson from New York.
Finally, in 1985, at the age of 44 (and against the advice of their less venturesome friends, neighbors and family) Matt, his wonderful, always supportive wife Grace, and their two young sons decided to leave New Jersey for their dream of living a more self-sufficient lifestyle away from the intense pace of the city and suburbs.That April they moved to a 43 acre farm on Virginia's Eastern Shore and since then have been living very full, independent, satisfying and busy lives.Their two sons, schooled at home by Matt and Grace, are graduates of the University of Virginia and are also pursuing independent lifestyles (in environmental law and piloting sea vessels).
Geese, ducks, turkeys, guinea fowl, cows, goats, chickens and rabbits provide their meat; the goats and cows also provide milk, cheese and butter, and other milk products.The family also enjoys venison, rabbit, squirrel and other game from their woodland and fields, and a variety of fish from their pond, the nearby bay and ocean.Their fields provide hay for their horses and other livestock, and they grow a variety of vegetables and any fruits they can grow organically (with the help of their honeybees).
In recent years Matt had been assisting Grace in her long term study of the endangered RoseateTern, taking time off each spring from the farm and his carving to trap and band terns in the Azores (2004 was his fifth year).The resulting data on the species' movements have been published in leading ornithological journals.
Matt in the Azores, 2003
Matt's carving, which fits well into this lifestyle, provides a large part of the family income, but over the years has been supplemented in various ways, including a "family farm and nature camp" for children, leading nature walks at nearby Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge, writing nature articles, reviewing nature manuscripts, growing organic produce for market, selling livestock and hay, and teaching adult education and English as a Second Language courses.Recently Matt has been heavily involved with photography, writing copy, illustrating, sharing ideas and acting as a "facilitator" for an innovative and very successful family literacy program initiated by Grace (see his cartoon of SPARKY, the blue crab mascot for the program, immediately below).He has also had major input into each of the seven acclaimed early reading books resulting from the program.A children's novel Matt has written about an operatic starling has yet to be published.
Latent Talent and Good Luck
Along with his interest in nature, Matt showed an early talent for drawing.His parents, however, had discouraged him from pursuing a career in art.Nor did Matt's father, a highly skilled cabinetmaker who emigrated from Italy as a young man, want Matt to follow in his footsteps.But that wasn't the end of it.A year before moving to Virginia, Matt had decided to carve decoys; six months after moving to Virginia he took a decoy carving course with a local carver.Since then Matt has carved about a hundred bird species and, as you can see on this web site, has gone well beyond decoys.
Matt had finally found his niche - applying his artistic talent to wood (to his parents' ultimate delight).By the way, if you're wondering about Cormons being an appropriate name for an Italian cabinetmaker, check out the name in a good atlas or on the internet.
...
Address: Matt Cormons 26201 Dennis Rd. Parksley, VA 23421


mwebMattbio

host.awwm.com [cached]

Matt Cormons in his shop (circa 1990) From Harlem to a Virginia Farm.

Carving birds came quite naturally to Matt Cormons.He had always been keenly interested in nature and spent many hours of his childhood in the overgrown lots adjoining his home in New York's East Harlem.It was there that he began to learn about plants and animals (mainly insects).With reading and trips to many of the city's parks (which had a surprising variety of insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds and plants) and zoos, he was well on his way to becoming a fine naturalist.His interests led to a bachelor's degree in zoology from the City College of New York and a master's degree in animal behavior from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Matt had never felt settled in the city and believed that one day he'd leave; it wasn't about to happen soon.After graduating from CCNY he worked for five years at the American Museum of Natural History as a teacher and lecturer, and later as a technical illustrator and field assistant (resulting in two new Venezuelan insect species named after him).After graduate school he taught middle school science at a private school in New York City, followed by twelve years as the director of an environmental education center in a New Jersey suburb across the Hudson from New York.
Finally, at the age of 44 (and against the advice of their less-venturesome friends, neighbors and family) Matt, his supportive wife, Grace, and their two young sons decided to leave New Jersey for their dream of living a more self-sufficient lifestyle away from the intense pace of the city and suburbs. In April of 1985 they moved to a 43-acre farm on Virginia's Eastern Shore and since then have been living very full, independent, satisfying and busy lives.Their two sons, schooled at home by Matt nd Grace, are graduates of the University of Virginia and are also pursuing independent lifestyles. Geese, ducks, turkeys, guinea fowl, chickens and rabbits provide meat, while goats and cows provide milk, cheese and butter, as well as meat.They also enjoy venison, rabbit, squirrel and other game from their woodland and fields, and a variety of fish from their pond, the bay and the ocean.Their fields provide hay for their horses and other livestock, and they grow a variety of vegetables and any fruits they can grow organically (with the help of their honeybees). For the past few years Matt has been assisting Grace in her long term study of the endangered Roseate Tern, taking time off from the farm and carving to trap and band terns in the Azores.The resulting data on migration patterns has been accepted for publication in a leading ornithological journal.
Matt's carving, which fits well into this lifestyle, provides a large part of the family income, but over the years has been supplemented in various ways, including a "family farm and nature camp" for children, leading nature walks at nearby Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge, writing nature articles, reviewing nature manuscripts, growing organic produce for market, selling livestock and hay, and teaching adult education and English as a Second Language courses.Recently Matt has been involved with photography, writing copy, illustrating, sharing ideas and acting as a "facilitator" for an innovative and very successful family literacy program initiated by Grace.A children's novel Matt has written about an operatic starling has yet to be published. Latent Talent and Good Luck
Along with his interest in nature, Matt showed an early talent for drawing.His parents, however, had discouraged him from pursuing a career in art.Nor did Matt's father, a highly-skilled cabinetmaker who emigrated from Italy as a young man, want Matt to follow in his footsteps.But that wasn't the end of it.A year before moving to Virginia, Matt had decided to carve decoys; six months after moving to Virginia he took a decoy carving course with a local carver.Since then Matt has carved about a hundred bird species and, as you can see on this web site, has gone well beyond decoys . Matt had finally found his niche - applying his artistic talent to wood (to his parents' ultimate delight).By the way, if you're wondering about Cormons being an appropriate name for an Italian cabinetmaker, check out the name on a good map or on the internet.
The CORMONS signature on each carving or sculpture
Reach Matt at: mailto:cormons@shore.intercom.net or 757-665-4698
RETURN TO HOME PAGE RETURN TO INDEX PAGE


webpage3comments

birdcarvings.net [cached]

MATT CORMONS

...
The above is just one of the many wonderful unsolicited comments Matt has received from his clients, this one from a raven enthusiast in Maine. Matt knew he would be hard to please, but was confident he could do it, as the photo above shows.
...
"Matt, the carving arrived today. More impressive even than the photos -
...
"well I cannot tell u how much I like that carving Matt, its beautiful
...
The following comment is from a carver Matt thinks highly of: "...admire your carvings a great deal, and I believe that anyone would be proud to own one of your creations.
...
The following poem was sent to Matt by a client who has one of his pufffin carvings.
...
We first met Matt during a weekend outing on Chincoteague Island, Virginia. He was at the side of the road with a table displaying his unique and attractive carvings. A life-sized raven caught my fancy, while Ginny was impressed by a standing Great Egret. ... We had definitely found our artist! I ... presented him with our vision of the wall sculptures. He ... accepted the challenge - great news! We traded email addresses and Matt promised to stay in touch. We were soon looking at sketches ... via home computer and liked what we saw. Questions and ideas flowed back and forth on a regular basis as Matt met each challenge and e-mailed our way through the project; we were thrilled to be kept abreast of the work as it progressed. Ginny and I believe that the best decision we had made, early in the project, was to give Matt the time and artistic license to create carvings he would be proud of. ...(H)is carvings capture the intricate lines of wings and feathers, the sensuous curves of the necks and the intensity and alertness of the moment. We are absolutely delighted with the pair of herons Matt has done for us ... We are thrilled with the entire experience and also to have found a friend in Matt. He made us feel special and major participants in his efforts.
...
The pieces Matt carved for this client may be seen at HERONS ( scroll down to the bottom of the page).
...
Address: Matt Cormons 26201 Dennis Rd. Parksley, VA 23421


webpage9songbirds

birdcarvings.net [cached]

Bluebirds often perch on fence posts, which is how Matt likes to display them.

...
Matt spends a lot of time and effort to make sure the bills of the birds he carves are correct.
The Chickadee is among the most adorable of birds. The attitude that makes it so special is difficult to capture. Many carvings being sold have too much of a neck, others have too much head and others bills that are too massive. Before Matt ships a carving out it has to be right. A chickadee sells for $300.
Another small bird, common around many homes, is the House Wren . This is just one of many species of wrens found in North America. Matt will carve your favorite wren for $300.
...
Matt will carve a life-size cardinal for $300.
...
so Matt made the bluebird's mouth open, as if talking to the cardinal and the cardinal listening.
...
Matt mounted this carving on a twig attached to a length of fine fishing line, so that it could be suspended from the ceiling before a real or artificial tree or large plant Matt can do a similar carving for you for $300 (mounted as described). The Blue jays shown below are done in an abstract style, special orders for clients who were willing to sacrifice realism in order to capture the unique personality of this species. You can distinguish each by various subtleties of color, pattern, position and length and curve of the neck.
You may choose any of the subtleties that please you, and Matt will do one for you just as you would like it.
...
Address: Matt Cormons 26201 Dennis Rd. Parksley, VA 23421

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