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Collector’s Shelf: Jim brockman

Collector's Shelf

The pictured swan was made by Jim Brockman our friend and member of the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum. Sadly, Jim suffered a devastating fire in the early afternoon on Saturday August 27, 2022. The fire started in Jim’s woodworking workshop and quickly spread to his home. Thankfully, Jim was able to escape the fire but was unable to save anything else and at 75 years old he must now, in his words, “start over from scratch”. 

Jim was born on 10/9/46 in Pennsylvania in his grandparents’ home. His grandfather was a carpenter and as a child Jim would spend time drawing, carving and whittling in his shop. Brockman has lived and worked in Pungo for forty years and has been carving his whole life. His workshop was a patchwork building made of wood-siding and sawdust was his floor as Jim preferred to work in his bare feet. Unfortunately, the workshop was considered uninsurable because it didn’t have concrete floors or metal walls. He lost all of his carving tools, chisels, mallets, hand-saws and knives, some of which belonged to his grandfather. 

Jim specializes in antique reproductions and has made replicas for The Jamestown Settlement including a chair made for Queen Elizabeth for an anniversary celebration in Jamestown. He also made nautical instruments and sea chests and recently a wooden figurehead mooring post for Jamestown. He created antique replications for The Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton and also for The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News and hand carved woodwork for the Hermitage Museum & Gardens in Norfolk. Jim has carved religious replicas for historic churches and schools including St. Patrick’s School and Basilica of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception and St. John The Apostle in Virginia Beach. 

Jim has made many antique replications of decoys from Back Bay and Knott’s Island such as John Williams ruddy ducks and the Dudley brothers ruddy ducks and canvasbacks. The swan in the photo pictured on the day of the fire was made in the Jim Brockman style for John Maddox in the mid-1990’s and is carved from juniper wood. Jim and Johns Maddox had a close relationship and worked together at John’s decoy museum in Chincoteague. We are humbly asking for donations for Jim Brockman’s Recovery Fund. The funds raised will be used to rebuild Jim’s workshop and to purchase new woodworking tools. Thank you for your support. 

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