Unfinished Wooden Bird Pin

Unfinished Wooden Bird Pin

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This unfinished duck shows one of the earliest stages of Mr. Oka's carving process. Materials were expensive so artists like Mr. Oka would reuse as many materials as they could. For the birds, spare wood from shipping crates was often used. Mr. Oka would start by outlining a bird on a piece of old wood, and then he would carve out the 2D shape. This duck is in the process of being formed into its 3D, hyper-realistic form. He would sand and carve in the curves and details of the bird, and transform the piece of wood into a realistic bird. Mr. Oka then would meticulously paint all the different colors and shades of the birds. He used a set of Audubon bird identification cards and an old National Geographic for reference.
Currently not on view
Object Name
place made
United States: Arizona, Poston
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 2 in x 2 in x 1/2 in; 5.08 cm x 5.08 cm x 1.27 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Jane Oka
World War II
See more items in
Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Japanese American
Executive Order 9066
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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