Moving Day, by Desiree HanjayMoving Day, by Desiree Hanjay

Desiree Hajny

Desiree Hajny


Desiree Hajny of Blue Hill, NE has been involved in carving full time since 1985. Before that she was a high school art instructor for six years. She has authored eight books, contributed to seven others, and will have two new books set for release in the spring of 2016. She has written for several periodicals, and her work has been featured on the cover of 13 different magazines in North America and Europe. In competitions she has garnered 25 Best of Show Awards, 18 People’s Choice Awards and well over 150 first place awards. She has judged competitions in 17 states and Canada and in 9 of these states has judged shows in more than one city. Desiree has instructed seminars in 34 states and 3 Canadian provinces and in 17 of these states has instructed classes in more than one city. She is a founding member of the Caricature Carvers of America. Commissions have included Disney Animal Kingdom, MGM Grand, and 52 of her woodcarving designs were reproduced by Mill Creek Studios for marketing in North America. Collectors include golfing legend Jack Nicklaus, and entertainer Barbara Mandrell.

From the Artist:

My main subject is wildlife and my medium is wood.  As in working with different species of animals it is sometimes imperative to cooperate with that animal for best results.  This is true of wood.  I must always be ready to adapt to the personality of the wood even utilizing flaws in the wood for design.   Wood provides a warm, natural answer to my exploration of the media.  I love the challenges and study of each subject.  I truly enjoy the idea of designing one of a kind works.  The satisfaction I get from the design elements always gives me room to grow and expand.

I have strived to grow as an artist through the years.  When I began sculpting in wood, I would carve the piece separately and place it on the base.  It became a bigger challenge to carve each piece from a single piece of wood without any attachments, which I have done through the past twenty or so years.  I have always tried to incorporate new ideas which will give my works more of an artistic flair.  Several years back I became interested in blowing glass and have included the glass in some of my works.  I have also carved in stone and done some bronze pieces, but am always drawn back to the wood.

As a carver I have discovered techniques and studied different techniques.  I have found there is usually more than one way to approach what is needed to complete a piece to my liking, and more importantly to the viewer’s liking.  I strive to get better and am continually changing my approach, trying new ideas and new medias.  I like to compare and combine them, such as the wood with the glass.  I have always been drawn to one of a kind things.

As an instructor I stress study of the subject; anatomy, habits.  Then we go over the elements of art and principles of design not being afraid to try something different, going out of the student’s comfort zone.  My main objective is to have my students do the work on their piece so they leave the experience with something that is truly theirs.  I see myself as a facilitator in their quest to improve.

My works stress family values and simple moments.  Moments that are as simple as a stretch, a scratch, or a yawn.  I try to capture the beauty of these simple moments in time.

Finally, I believe there are new challenges every day and how we handle these challenges can be rewarding and enjoyable as well as a true reflection on ourselves as individuals.  Our time here is very limited so I’ve always tried to make a concerted effort to give my endeavors my best shot, rather than just trudging through something for the sake of completion.

Below are a few images of this artist’s work. To view more images or to purchase art from this Nebraska rural artist, please visit her website at

Copyright notice

Moving Day, by Desiree Hanjay


‘Moving Day’ Carved from linden wood – 15.5” in length & 10.5” in height

Soft Landing, by Desiree Hanjay


‘Soft Landing’ – 10” in length & 9.5” in height

African Skies, by Desiree Janjay


‘African Skies’ – Carved from linden, glass also blown by artist – 9.5” in length – 13.25 inches in height

Three Amigos, by Desiree Hanjay


‘Three Amigos’ – 8” in length & 10” in height

Main Event, by Desiree Hanjay


‘Main Event’ – Carved from catalpa wood, 5.5” in height, 6.25 inches in length

Plains Racer, by Desiree Hanjay


‘Plains Racer’ – Carved from linden wood, 11.5 inches in height, 8 inches in length

Tongue Tied, by Desiree Hanjay


‘Tongue Tied’ – 6.5” in length & 10” in height

Contact the Artist

Desiree Hajny
PO Box 191/601 S. Cherry St., Blue Hill, NE 68930
(402) 756-3832

Artist Website


Fine Art in Towns Under 10,000 is made possible by the following sponsors:

Nebraska Rural Living

Nebraska Rural Living’s mission is to market the very real benefits of a rural lifestyle. We highlight the amenities of rural communities and spotlight successful entrepreneurs, who make good livings, free of the stress of urban environments.

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