Mission Statement

Floyd's objective is to promote and foster a better understanding and appreciation for the fine art of bird carving and bird art through comprehensive, in-depth technical instruction on all aspects of bird carving, painting, design and composition.

Celebrating 20 years of Vermont Raptor Academy

May 12, 1996 was the first seminar in the Hancock, VT Schoolhouse!

Carving & Painting Seminars

I'd like to welcome you to the school I founded in 1996 to promote and foster a better understanding of the beautiful and at times challenging art of bird carving. Nestled in the southwest corner of the beautiful state of Vermont, the Vermont Raptor Academy offers so much more than the standard carving seminar. You arrive a student; you leave a friend.

Students of all skill levels are welcome to participate in stimulating and challenging courses geared toward advancing the individual's carving abilities to the next level.

I've been carving birds since 1968, and I've been teaching the art of bird carving since 1990. My teaching style is such that I lay it out in a very linear way. At no time will you ever be asked to perform any operation without me first demo-ing it in detail for all to see. In addition to my demonstrations, I spend a lot of time at your side giving you one-on-one personal instruction.

You'll start with the very basics of roughing out the bird, establishing your centerline, balance and symmetry, and bringing forth the shape of the bird. Special effort is put into the dynamics of feather flow, body position, balance, and eye placement. In addition to the carving and texturing of the bird, we also spend a great deal of time understanding the dynamics and importance of a proper paint job, utilizing everything from airbrush to washcoat techniques, creating a translucent and believable depth in the feathers.

Attention to detail is the hallmark of a Floyd Scholz seminar. Students come away pleasantly surprised at the amount of care, personal instruction and attention that they receive.

In addition to hands-on carving and painting, I also bring in live falconers so you get a chance to see up close and personal a living breathing raptor. You can look at all the pictures you like, but until you see one of these birds in the flesh interacting with its environment, only then can you appreciate and get a better understanding of the magic and the royalty of these terrific birds of prey.

Working in a spacious studio you will carve and paint a piece with instruction on every aspect of the art form.

The utmost goal for me as an instructor is to instill a new-found confidence and eagerness for you to go home and take the information you've learned at the Vermont Raptor Academy back to your studio and improve your own carving.

Carving & Painting The American Kestrel with Floyd ScholzDVD: Carving & Painting The American Kestrel with Floyd Scholz

Take a seminar with Floyd for only $49.95! A 2 DVD set released on Dec. 2005, available here from The Vermont Raptor Academy Store.

Sessions Will Cover

  • Ornithology—Intensive bird studies
  • Research and reference material
  • Developing the patterns
  • Rough shaping
  • Feather groups and fine carving
  • Burning and stoning techniques
  • Layout of eyes and bill
  • Full painting techniques, including airbrush
  • Preparing birds for painting
  • Color theory and use of washes
  • Habitat
  • Lunches included


Review our recommended supplies list.

Note From Videographer

"This project was such a joy to work on. At the last minute I flew from Idaho to Vermont in order to film and understand Floyd Scholz bird carving seminars. I have never experienced quite an environment like this. People come from all over the place to take his courses in bird carving and most have been coming to the carving classes for more than 10 years! Wood carving is truly one of the best arts to get into at any age. I can definitely say that this particular project simply made my heart happy."