Ernest Muehlmatt, three-time, top award-winning carver, passed away peacefully at home on February 5.
Several decades ago, Ernest, or “Ernie” as he was commonly known, received a bird carving gift that would change his life forever. After spending multiple hours, days and months with this hobby, Ernie started carving full-time and opened a small shop. The prominent carver said he never worked a day in his life because he did what he loved.
In the late 1970s, Ernie won Best in World at the Ward World Championship Competition three times.
Not only did Ernie love carving, he loved teaching others to carve and he taught carving seminars all over the country. Ernie’s work is on permanent display at the well-known Ward Museum of Waterfowl Art in Salisbury, Md.
Ernie wrote and co-authored several books, including “Wildfowl Carving with Ernie Muehlmatt”, “Songbird Carving With Ernie Muehlmatt”, “Single Piece Bird Sculpture,” and “Carving & Painting Black-Capped Chickadee with Ernest Muehlmatt.” Ernie also has contributed numerous articles to “Wildfowl Carving Magazine.”
The enthusiast is known for his many carving innovations, including burning for color and one piece carvings.
Aside from carving, Ernie could be found drawing pencil portraits for family and friends.
Have you ever been to The Bagel Bakery in Salisbury, Md.? Ernie began his mornings at the breakfast shop with a cup of coffee and a treat. Some of his work hangs on the walls of the establishment, where he drew portraits of all the regular customers.
Ernie wasn’t just an artist—he was also a fisherman. He could be seen in his boat on Tony Tank Pond with his fishing rod and his glass of Merlot celebrating happy hour.
Ernie is survived by his wife, Kathy Boyle, sons Eric, of Warwick, RI, and, Jeffrey (Carolyn) of Fawn Grove, PA, and stepson, Christopher Hofmann (Rachel) of Arlington, Va. He is also survived by a brother Theodore (Marjorie) of Media, Pa. A sister, Mary Worrilow, preceded him in death.
Ernie’s family asks, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, 909 S. Schumaker Dr, Salisbury, MD 21804; MAC, Inc., Senior Center, 909 Progress Dr, Suite 100, Salisbury, MD 21804; or Coastal Hospice, PO Box 1733, Salisbury, MD, 21802.
A celebration of Ernie’s Life will be held at 1 p.m. on Feb. 18, 2016, at the Ward Museum.