Carving on the Edge Festival 2016, a month ago already. It was a blast again. Meeting with friends and fellow carvers. Showing our creations in the gallery. Doing demonstrations for the people coming to the festival. Attending or giving workshops and presentations. Ten days of immersion in the art of carving. Come next year!
The Three Raven People masks sold as a family, they are staying together and moving to Metchosin!
Pill Pusher, not sold.
And la ventouse mask was there as well. Getting better every time I carve her. Good tale!
One of the sweetest moments of the whole show, was when Kyle from Kaslo came over to watch Qwaya and I carve. He may have been seven years old. He was peering at eye level, just a few inches above the table. Asked what I was carving. I told him it was a hummingbird, and placed it in his hands. He marvelled, and twisted it around to see all the angles. I’m sure the little Dude will become a carver one day, he was simply glowing with enthusiasm. It think he was there “To tell me it was all worth it”.
Some of the wonderful people I have met at the Festival
Qwaya Sam – I carved the totem pole at VIU with him, friends since
Gordon Dick – has the Ashik gallery just past Port Alberni, magnificent carver
Joe David – master carver does a few nights of presentations during the show
Joe Martin – last year’s workshop was paddle carving, this year he was doing a bentwood box workshop, and always has a canoe on the go, best on planet earth!
Robinson Haischtuup Cook – carver, woodworker, festival organizer this year, VIU Totem team
Tim Paul, master carver – taught Qwaya, evening presentations
Kelly Robinson – carver, VIU totem pole team
Marika Swan – printmaker and carver, does the printmaking workshops
Norma Dryden – painter and festival organizer
Gisele Martin – wonderful speaker storyteller
Robin Rorick – Haida carver, inspiration
Feather George Yearsley – Wikkinanish carving shed resident carver
Keith Plumley – wood turner extraordinaire, carver
Carl Martin – canoe and wood carver
Mark Mickey – mask carver extraordinaire, my favourite
Brad Starr – Haisla carver from up in Kitimatt
Godfrey Stevens – carved Weeping Cedar Woman in the Tofino commons
Jane Woodbury – artist and carver
Dave Parsanishi – carver
Be there next year!
A Celebration of the West Coast Carver, Carving on the Edge Festival
September 2nd – 14th, 2017
Shore Pier on the Water, 368 Main Street, Tofino, BC, Canada
It just sound better in French, rather than the Big Suction Cup Woman.
The story goes like this.
I met her on the beach a few years ago. We had common interests and started chatting. I’m a good listener. So I listened. A group formed around us and listened too. Then something extraordinary happened. She reached out with her big lips, and latched onto my ear. It was painful and never ending. I tried walking away, but she would not let go. I was stuck in this position for five straight days. A victim of a flood of words; black ink dribbling from her chin.
After the five days, she released me. What a relief. Something I would not want to live through again. I learned later, of course, that if I had walked north, for a few hundred kilometers, she would have released her grip, as she does not like a cold climate.
The spiraling wave is being carved to cap a king post above a huge beam. The original design I wanted to use was the line of snoozing dogs. But the post is far up and not really well lit. So in fact it’s a waste to place something so detailed all the way up there. I simplified a repeating pattern instead, something similar to the screen printed waves on a farmhouse floor I did years back.
It’s sort of like switching from a film camera to a digital camera. Instant gratification. Doesn’t take long to see the result when you carve a spoon. Not like a large mask, requiring many hours of labour before you see the final piece. There are always a few spoons hanging around the shop, in various degrees of completion. Haischtuup Robinson Cook, a carver and accomplished woodworker gave a spoon carving workshop at the Carving on the Edge festival in Tofino, BC. The spoon below was based on a design by Henry Nolla.
Spoon carving only required a few good tools, and no workshop at all. It is also appreciated (i think?) by family and friends.
Whatever you do. Have fun!
My latest Raven/Man mask; I have done many over the years. All seem to fly away quickly. A large bone crest coming down into a human nose. Don’t know why I started carving them, there must be a story still to be discovered. This latest is a series of 3 masks, western red cedar of course. When the wood is fresh and the knives sharp, it is a pleasure to carve this character. I follow subtle internal hints to change its form and it always ends up different.
And the latest one, tiny and thin.
Just before the paint and burnish step, it did for a little while have me recall the Ellen Neel mask.
I was always fascinated by Ellen Neel’s Dzonokwa mask. Simple elegant volumes, curved surfaces, minimalism to get the idea of the character across to the viewer. If you are fortunate enough to have seen the dance or know the story, you do recognize her right away. And the surface finish, accentuating the grain in the wood. Superb.
Drew a slew of these dog packs. A line symmetry system instead of a plane symmetry system. Built on a vertical stack of glide reflected dogs. Peacefully snoring, on her back, on her couch, all fours up in the air, her tail draped over the lower dog; the white tail tip is a clue. Takes a while to fully comprehend the construction. Will take a bit of effort to carve it as well.
Here’s a photo with the design copied onto the alder plank, and a few perimeter cuts. Should be interesting once it’s all done. Might even do a bit of wood burning to accents parts.
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