A place for me to display some of the varied projects that come out of my shop, as well as to "talk" about some of my experiences working with wood.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

West Coast Experience

It's been while since last posting, still working on my thesis so not much shop time for me.

However, I took a break from the writing to attend a 3-day seminar at Lee Valley on West Coast carving. I have never done any real carving but have always wanted to give it a try. I tried to register for this course a couple of years ago but it filled up before I got to it, not this time!

I like this style of art and have always wanted to try it out. The course was given by Rick Wolcott from Calgary and was three full days in the shop. During the time we were heads-down working on our carvings, Rick regaled us with ancient West Coast Indian legends, and some Rick Wolcott stories (legends?) helping to make the time fly by as we toiled on our pieces of wood.

We were all given a band-sawn piece of Western Red Cedar to work with and we had to find the Shaman mask hidden inside.

After the first day, a face begins to emerge,
 the finished sample is on the right.
 The picture above shows the progress after day one with the bold features carved and sanded, time to get down to the detail carving. The mask is a Shaman's mask with two wolves facing one another on the forehead and a frog on the chin.

The design drawn on the face and most
of the detail features carved - end of Day  Two
A lot was left to complete on the third and final day, the remaining facial features needed to be completed and refined, the horns needed to be cut, holes drilled and the whole thing needed to be painted. It was a busy day, but I managed to finish my mask and have it completely painted. While I won't be making any money selling these any time soon; I am pleased with the final result and do not plan on doing any more.

Side View showing the wolf on the forehead.
I got a chance to use some different tools than I was used to. Most of the knives were made by Rick specifically for this purpose. I am sure I will be making a few of these knives for myself and you never know I may end up doing a little carving also!!
A few of Rick's knives, these were the three types of knives used for the carving.