The Falconer’s Creed was designed to be a celebration of the sport of falconry. From coast to coast, country to country, all around the world, falconers share very similar beliefs about the sport, and have a deep respect and reverence for birds of prey and nature. The creed recognizes these beliefs and helps celebrate them. Recognizing our common beliefs as individuals, and enacting them as a community, helps to bond our community, as well as protect the environment and sport of falconry for the future. We hope you find meaning and belonging each time you view the creed and feel inspired to be a better falconer, while supporting the international community.
The creed and artwork took over three years to complete. It started as a talk among a small group of falconers sitting on the tailgate of a truck after a day of hunting. It was originally a small personal project. After sharing it with a few friends from the international community it became apparent that it not only had value to falconers on our truck tailgate, but also to falconers from all over the world. By talking to over a hundred falconers from around the globe we gathered a list of basic beliefs that all falconers seemed to share. It did not matter if the falconers were in their first season, or sixty-year veterans. If they were desert hawkers, open prairie falconers, forest hunters, princes or everyday Joes, all shared common thoughts and beliefs. These are the ideas shared by falconers around the world, which are celebrated in the creed.
- Conserving habitat
- Protecting both raptors and prey
- Honouring the history of falconry
- Protecting the future of falconry
- Celebrating the artwork, poems, stories, and equipment
- Establishing a bond and respect for nature
- Participating in an international community and brotherhood
- Recognizing falconry’s cultural significance
- Learning, teaching, and passing on falconry skills
- Respect and cooperation for the environment
- Sharing the beauty of the sport with the world
It was decided that a falconer’s hood and a bird sitting on a falconer’s glove would be the artwork accompanying the creed as they are the most recognizable visual symbols of falconry. We wanted to celebrate the creed in a lasting way, but carving it in stone for thousands of people to have at home was cost prohibitive and would mean a lot of blisters on our fingers. We decided to have the artwork hand engraved on special metal plates so it could be embossed onto paper and instead of printing the text we had an expert in the old world art of letterpress emboss the text into the paper, creating a work of art. After two years of research and writing the text, it took a further year to design and create the embossing dies, letterpress plates, and complete production. Using great care and skill, each printed copy of the creed is passed by hand through the press seven times to emboss or add a color or portion of text. Each individually printed copy is a work of art.
Alexander Lavdovsky is both an artist and engraver who emigrated from his native Czechoslovakia to Canada, bringing with him old world engraving and printing skills. He has a special appreciation of nature and animals that has been a focal point of his embossed greeting cards and has made him sought after by clients for commissioned works and personal and business stationary. Since 1977 he has operated Classic Stationers, located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, it is one of the few remaining vintage print shops in North America. It has become more difficult to find an engraver and embosser that can still produce intricate engravings by hand thus yielding a natural three dimensional look and truly artistic piece of work. We were fortunate to be able to work with Alex as his love for engraving both nature and animals combined with his old world embossing, letterpress knowledge, and equipment made him the ideal choice to work on the Falconer’s Creed. Through his experience and expertise he was able to take the artwork, photographs, and ideas provided and create the beautiful engravings that are an integral part of the creed. The letterpress printing and use of high quality, archival paper compliments the artwork, and makes the Falconer’s Creed a pleasure to look at, and a true piece of art.
The research, design, and text were completed by falconers from Saanich, BC, Canada, Kristine and Allan Marshall. Falconers and friends from around the globe provided feedback and many editing hours. It was our goal to create a document that celebrated falconry, united people and inspired falconers from around the world. Falconry has survived for over four thousand years, it is up to each of us not only to be good ambassadors for the sport, but to honour its past and protect its future. Every time you view the creed we hope you feel inspired.
Kristine and Allan Marshall