Northwest Coast Carvings and Design

 

I was born (1945) and raised on New York’s Long Island. Throughout my life I have resided in a variety of places besides New York, including North Carolina for my years at East Carolina University, the deep South and the beautiful Republic Of Vietnam (Which was more intense?) during my military obligations in 1967-68, Venice and Manhattan Beaches in California upon leaving the east coast in the early 1970’s and Paradise, CA in the Sierra Madres of Northern California in the mid-70’s. My nomadic life ended in 1976 upon meeting my lovely wife and moving to Western Washington , where we continue to reside.

 My early career set me forth on a path in the early stage of the developing computer world, working in Manhattan in the mid 60’s, something that fed my wallet but not my soul. Upon leaving the city behind in 1971, I began a life of working outdoors, with hand and tool, as a carpenter in commercial building initially, then going into business on my own building and remodeling homes in the private sector. My interest in fine woodworking sprang from this exposure to all forms of carpentry and when not working for customers my spare time was spent in my shop on a variety of crafts and projects, not the least of which was converting a turn-of-the-century ( circa 1895) goat barn and several acres of land into a humble abode for my family.

My interest in carving started with the above-mentioned projects as I worked with a 100 year-old American black walnut tree that the wind had taken down on my property supplying me with a wonderful source of wood for box making and cabinetry work and three dimensional sculpture. My interest in Northwest coastal art probably began in my high school years as field trips exposed me to some of the world’s finest collections of that art form in Manhattan’s great museums and, upon moving West, my exposure to the proliferation of native style art in the architecture, public art, and logos throughout the Pacific Northwest region. I was more directly exposed to this native art upon meeting and becoming good friends with northwest coast artist Loren White in 1991. Since then, with Loren’s generosity of talent and time, I have come to have a great passion and appreciation for this art and the culture from which it was manifest.

Retired from construction, I now carve full time using traditional tools to create a variety of masks, bowls, boxes, panels, spoons and ladles, model poles and figures, rattles, jewelry and the likes out of wood , bone, and mammoth ivory. It is the power of masks though, and their universal appeal to communicate the expression of the natural and supernatural worlds and our human connection to them, that has captured the bulk of my interest and focus . My inspiration comes from the vast and diversified natural world of the great Pacific Northwest with its abundance of wildlife and beauty in its forests, waters, skies, cosmos, and spiritual worlds hidden from our sight but not our senses, the same conditions that inspired the creation of the ancient masterpieces of the original carvers of the Northwest Coast from Washington State to Southeast Alaska.


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