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The Collectors: Handmade Ice Fishing Decoys

Feb 10, 2011

by rikrak handmade and vintage goods

Rikrak_bio_archer.jpgI love the promise that lies in the stillness of February. Though many of us are still submerged in a bleak midwinter, there is a vibrant creative energy that is alive and well, swimming just below the frozen surface. Outside it may be quiet, but indoors, wintry-inspired crafts create a happy place in our warm homes.

For just such a season, I thought you might love the beautiful, primitive ice fishing decoys collection of slinkymalinkicat. Functional and fabulous, they’re a reminder of the wonderful art and patient creative promise that lives just below the cold, cold ice.


Who are you?
I’m Kim of slinkymalinkicat.

What are you collecting?
Ice fishing decoys.

When did you start?
About three years ago.


How many do you have?

Where do you keep them?
Wherever there is space! Mostly, they live in between my husband’s collection of fossils.

What is a crazy/interesting story behind one?
I think there is probably an interesting story behind most of them, something I think about a lot.


What piece would you like to add?
A decoy by Oscar Peterson.

Why do you love them?
They have been lovingly handmade, each one has a history behind them and I think they are beautiful!

Which one is your favourite and why?
I love the Union Jack decoy, a present to my husband that I had custom made by David Perkins who is actually renowned for his stars and stripes decoys.

What else do you collect?
Antique natural history prints and handmade pottery.


Thanks so much, Kim. Just like her lovely collection, slinkymalinkicat’s own shop is alive with the beauty of stillness: each original antique natural history print or copperplate engraving is an artistic masterpiece to adore.

What do you collect? What makes a great collection? Please tell us in the notes below. We’d love to hear!

I’m Kristal Davis (a.k.a. rikrak) and I just love seeing what folks are collecting. I feel it tells us a little bit about what inspires them. The Collectors series, first published on my own little blog is 11 and a half quick questions with a wonderful artist on what they’re collecting — apart from their art supplies!

The Collectors Series | Vintage Category

Pair of Folk Art Hand Painted Spear Fishing Decoys
Pair of Folk Art Hand Painted Spear Fishing Decoys
RIBA collection - pike
RIBA collection - pike
$105.00 USD
Miniature Fish Sculpture
Miniature Fish Sculpture
Dollhouse Miniature Fish in Ice Tray
Dollhouse Miniature Fish in Ice Tray
Colorful Whimsical Original Funky Fish Art Handmade READY TO HANG Creative Wood Fish Decor
Colorful Whimsical Original Funky Fish Art Handmade READY TO HANG Creative Wood Fish Decor


  • TwinkleStarCrafts

    TwinkleStarCrafts said 9 years ago

    They are great pieces of folk art, too!

  • lilfishstudios

    lilfishstudios said 9 years ago

    Oh awesome! We live near the Minnesota Fishing Museum and they have a great display of these. I get a little caught up in looking at all of the different designs and how they've aged. Wonderful collection, thanks for sharing it with us.

  • BingoBox

    BingoBox said 9 years ago

    Love the cow-fish decoy.

  • pottersong

    pottersong said 9 years ago

    Intresting decoys! I also like fly's. Its old fashioned art!

  • VivaGailBeads

    VivaGailBeads said 9 years ago

    they are so sweet! lovely collection!

  • aynart

    aynart said 9 years ago

    love it!

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 9 years ago

    Wonderful folk art. Love the stars and stripes.

  • kmariedesignz

    kmariedesignz said 9 years ago

    These are the coolest things ever! I love to fish!

  • kmariedesignz

    kmariedesignz said 9 years ago

    Have fun and good luck!

  • JudiPaintedit

    JudiPaintedit said 9 years ago

    Very unique, I like it

  • TheJoyofColor

    TheJoyofColor said 9 years ago

    What a lovely collection Kim love all painted wood Thanks Kristal and kim for sharing

  • AmberGypsySky

    AmberGypsySky said 9 years ago

    Oh how cool! I never even thought of collecting such a thing :)

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 9 years ago

    beautiful pieces of art!

  • blessedvintage

    blessedvintage said 9 years ago

    They are so cool!

  • tigersanddragons

    tigersanddragons said 9 years ago

    You have to love the combination of folk art and utility for these lovely decoys. The Collector's series is great, can't wait to see what will be featured next.

  • vKnit

    vKnit said 9 years ago

    hehe! these fish are so much fun! - love them! xox

  • dragonhouseofyuen

    dragonhouseofyuen said 9 years ago

    I absolutely adore fish and I love these! thanks so much for sharing Kim :) I shall bookmark this article! I collect quite a few different things (as many collectors do!) but I have a lovely gathering of well over 2000 1/32nd scale plastic toy farm and zoo animals, mainly Britains Ltd. Some very rare and some very covetable.

  • cityroad

    cityroad said 9 years ago

    Very lovely... ;-)

  • bynicola

    bynicola said 9 years ago

    Very nice collection! : ) love handmade things...and history

  • jodyvanB

    jodyvanB said 9 years ago

    Beauties! Always interesting to see what people collect. Slightly perverse, as it is a peek at one of their "secret" desires. Why do people collect what they do? Very interesting!!

  • MJSGems

    MJSGems said 9 years ago

    superb collection! Thanks for sharing

  • sushipotparts

    sushipotparts said 9 years ago

    What an incredible collection Kim! Thanks for sharing.

  • plastiquarium

    plastiquarium said 9 years ago

    As an artist of the marine environment, I love 'em. As a collector, I have a piece that a fish decoy maker from Michigan made of a mermaid that has a dolls head. Me thinks he had something else on his mind out in his ice fishing shack.

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 9 years ago

    Really neat! So different. Thanks for sharing =)

  • genisepark

    genisepark said 9 years ago

    Wow I never knew and they are beautiful.

  • TheIDconnection

    TheIDconnection said 9 years ago

    I love this collection - very nice - Thanks for sharing Monica TheIDConnection :)

  • beliz82

    beliz82 said 9 years ago

    Love them Very sweet thank you for sharing

  • MWNaturesAntiquities

    MWNaturesAntiquities said 9 years ago

    Great collection! I too have a passion for fish of all types,but mostly fossil fish.

  • studiopainters

    studiopainters said 9 years ago


  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 9 years ago

    Ice fishing has been part of our family! Wonderful article and collection!

  • tfamily5

    tfamily5 said 9 years ago

    Love! have always loved fish.

  • bbusbyarts

    bbusbyarts said 9 years ago

    what wonderful treasures!

  • odiliafu

    odiliafu said 9 years ago

    What a lovely collection! Thanks for sharing.

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 9 years ago

    Great addition to the blog rikrak, and cool collection Kim! Me? I collect milk glass, lots and lots of Milk Glass!

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage said 9 years ago

    Never been ice fishing, but now I know what I need. Beautiful!

  • rarebeasts

    rarebeasts said 9 years ago

    They are so cute. I didn't realize there were so many fish goodies on Etsy.

  • theroyal

    theroyal said 9 years ago

    oh it is very nice.

  • AnnTig

    AnnTig said 9 years ago


  • acuriousbrood

    acuriousbrood said 9 years ago

    I picked up some of these along the way somewhere....I did not know they were old ice fishing decoys. I suppose, I too, have a collection, as I have three.

  • frommylifetoyours

    frommylifetoyours said 9 years ago

    how fun , thanks for sharing

  • iWALLS

    iWALLS said 9 years ago

    I love fish! This is great!

  • ginnyhuber

    ginnyhuber said 9 years ago

    Wonderful to see your decoy collection here, Kim!

  • lauraprentice

    lauraprentice said 9 years ago

    we have some vintage fishing lures, but these are super cool!

  • BlackStar

    BlackStar said 9 years ago

    Awesome things to collect Kim! I love them. I have my husbands tackle box from when he was a boy, but there was no ice fishing in TN. Those are way cool!

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez said 9 years ago

    I collect old macrame books & magazines....just recently found one with macrame knomes....& my all time favorite....a book with a macrame

  • JewelsbyJasmin

    JewelsbyJasmin said 9 years ago

    What a fun collection!

  • collectiblesatoz

    collectiblesatoz said 9 years ago

    Great collection. Thanks for sharing.

  • Bumbleweedz

    Bumbleweedz said 9 years ago

    Miniature fish sculptures would look great in a garden!

  • RAWelding

    RAWelding said 9 years ago

    haha, so cute! I want to hang them all from the ceiling like a school swimming by!

  • tuckooandmoocow

    tuckooandmoocow said 9 years ago

    This article makes me think so much of my dad. When I was little he fly fished in the Shenandoah. As we moved further west he stopped fishing so often, but didn't stopped collecting beautifully hand tied flies and wonderful lures. It's fun to hear him talk every now and then about the reasons behind different colors chosen and how some are just made to be beautiful! He's back to fishing regularly again, now. I think collections like this will always have a special fascination for me. Thank you!

  • poorjimsvintage

    poorjimsvintage said 9 years ago

    My mother collects vintage silver serving items. Shes also starting to collect vintage trophies. I collect bouncy balls, vintage perfume bottles, and books of all ages. My sister and I used to collect beanie babies. My grandmother collect vintage baby dolls.

  • MyGrandpasPen

    MyGrandpasPen said 9 years ago

    Those are so cool! I actually like to ice fish - as long as it isn't too cold out on the lake! I think what I'm collecting most these days is scrapbook paper. Love it!

  • lulusnest

    lulusnest said 9 years ago

    I've never been ice fishing but these sure make me want to jump in... well maybe it's too cold but great work for sure!

  • MelissaBeeArtDenver

    MelissaBeeArtDenver said 9 years ago

    OMG! I love these!!!

  • slinkymalinkicat

    slinkymalinkicat said 9 years ago

    Thank you to the storque and to rikrak for featuring my collection, I am thrilled to see it here!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 9 years ago

    I really love the character of each fish, I think the union jack one is my favourite too!

  • rebourne

    rebourne said 9 years ago

    very unique collection. quite interesting that one uses wood lures for ice fishing. i don't know if there is enough whiskey to keep me warm enough to try ice fishing, but i hear it's good fun!

  • ThePolkadotMagpie

    ThePolkadotMagpie said 9 years ago

    Yay Kim, such a wonderful collection.

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm said 9 years ago

    Lovely collection, fun to see how items age gracefully over time and become more special...Live in Minnesota but never tryed ice fishing hmmmmmm


    FISHeFISH said 9 years ago

    Love It!! thanks!

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 9 years ago

    Wonderful folk art.

  • PaperUlixis

    PaperUlixis said 9 years ago

    what a fun collection!! love this series - thanks Kristal!

  • PoleStar

    PoleStar said 9 years ago

    love these!

  • rbwatercolors

    rbwatercolors said 9 years ago

    What a great collection, love the theme.

  • HibouCards

    HibouCards said 9 years ago

    so cool!

  • Luregasmic

    Luregasmic said 9 years ago

    Great Collection...Thank you so much for inluding my Beadline Crystal Fishing Lure...Getting that time of the year again!...Thanks

  • barbplevan

    barbplevan said 9 years ago

    What a great article! I've always loved the unique beauty of fish decoys, which is why I first started making miniature ones several years ago. Thanks so much for including one of my little guys under related items.

  • oneperfectday

    oneperfectday said 9 years ago

    These are just so wonderful! A great collection!

  • arlenena

    arlenena said 9 years ago

    I love fish!

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 said 9 years ago

    This is one of the best features in a very long time! These miniature folk art pieces are real treasures. Love Oscar Peterson's work, too.

  • girliepains

    girliepains said 9 years ago


  • vintagenelly

    vintagenelly said 9 years ago

    I love these - just something about the uniqueness, color, folk art style and the history behind them. My husband loves old fishing stuff and we actually have eleven decoys (I just counted them!). He has lots and lots of old lures and some really cool other stuff. I've done a lot of destashing lately, but still love the old 50's-60's flower pins, all kinds of found objects for artwork, vintage fabric - oh, I could go on forever!!! Really loved your interview, keep collecting!

  • BusyBree

    BusyBree said 9 years ago

    wow those are cool... oh great one more thing I'm gonna want to collect now!

  • ConvergedCommodities

    ConvergedCommodities said 9 years ago

    I can imagine a mobile made with some of these.. ala Alexander flying fish!

  • MaisyandAlice

    MaisyandAlice said 9 years ago

    What a gorgeous and unique thing to collect, these are beautiful!

  • jodieflowers

    jodieflowers said 9 years ago

    awesome! Love all the fishies in here!!

  • VintageLoot

    VintageLoot said 9 years ago

    So cool!

  • Plinkjewelry

    Plinkjewelry said 9 years ago

    good post

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