Showing posts with label wood carving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wood carving. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Tuesday's #FolklorePhoto: Handmade Quilts and Guitars

Marie and Oliver Reid pose for a photo in their livingroom, Roddickton. Photo by Lisa Wilson. 2010
Today's Folklore Photos come from the Roddickton collection on Memorial University's Digital Archives Initiative. Roddickton is a community located between Main Brook and Englee on the eastern side of Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula.

This community got its start with help from the Grenfell Mission when in 1906, when they built a sawmill operation in the region. Setting up this land-based industry was a direct attempt to address the uncertainties of the fishing industry. Previous to this development, the Main Brook area was known as Easter Brook and was mostly used by residents of Englee as hunting and fishing grounds. The name Roddickton was given to the new settlement in honor of a Grenfell Mission supporter named Thomas G. Roddick. The town was officially incorporated under the name of Roddickton in 1953.

The sawmill history of Roddickton is one riddled with contrasting times of growth and decline. The original sawmill only lasted until the early 1920s-a closure that saw most of the residents evacuated. This economic slump was temporary, however, as within four years, the Bowater Company moved into Roddickton to establish new mill operations. This industry motivated consistent growth for the community until the 1970s when Bowater too, was forced to shut down. Roddickton now operates as a service center for the greater region, helping to sustain the local population.

The Roddickton inventory is part of a founding collection for the Great Northern Peninsula Textiles Archive and Learning Center. This project, based in Conche, NL, is an on-going initiative to document and preserve the textile-based crafts that are being created on Newfoundland's Northern Peninsula. The items in this collection were gathered between May and July of 2010 and include photographs of textile craft objects such as the Newfoundland Quilt, patch work quilts, and knitted items. This inventory also includes audio clips of craftspeople discussing their particular textile-based skills and practices.

If you want to learn more about this collection click here and if you want to listen to an interview with Marie and Oliver Reid about knitting, quilting, taxidermy, and homemade guitars click here.
A painted Newfoundland quilt made by Marie Reid, Roddickton. Photo by Lisa Wilson. 2010
A guitar made by Oliver Reid, Roddickton. Photo by Lisa Wilson. 2010

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Living Heritage Podcast Ep071 The Tradition and Business of Printmaking

Graham Blair is a printmaker and graphic designer based out of St. John's, and holds a master's degree in Cultural Anthropology and Museum Studies from the University of British Columbia. After working in both non-profit and commercial galleries for a decade, Graham began pursuing printmaking full-time five years ago. He specializes in woodcut prints using techniques based on the earliest forms of printmaking, and in addition to selling his work at local craft fairs and venues, Graham sells his woodcut prints at the One of Kind Show in Toronto and, most recently, the Originals Show in Ottawa.

We talk about how Graham got his start in art and printmaking, specifically woodprints, his tenure at the Quidi Vidi arts plantation, the process of making woodcut prints, materials and tools used, Japanese techniques, his time at the Mi-Lab print residency at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan, the types of designs he favours and wildlife art, and his most recent acquisition - an antique book press.

Listen on the Digital Archive:

Friday, October 2, 2015

ICH @UVic Day 5 - Indigenous Language and Culture

Today was our second-last day on the intangible cultural heritage course at UVic. We started off with a visit to the First Peoples House. Pamela Clermont and her co-workers showed us around the building, created as a social, cultural and academic centre for Indigenous students on campus. It is a gorgeous space, which you can read more about here, packed full of local, amazing, indigenous art.

Outside is an ongoing totem pole carving project. The artist, Hjalmer Wenstob, has posted the artist's statement on site:

"I see the totem as a means of bringing together and strengthening connections between cultures, both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous. It creates a space to come together where we are all equal, to create a future where we can walk side by side on the same path. To bring together academic and traditional Indigenous teaching for a common goal of unity, understanding and respect. - Hjalmer Wenstob"

After our visit to the First Peoples House, we had a conversation with Janna Wilson, Program Coordinator with the Cultural Management Programs at UVic, who has been working on their Indigenous languages retention programs. Then we went off to the Royal BC Museum for a behind-the scenes look at the Our Living Languages exhibit, with Michael Barnes, Head of Exhibitions, and Dr Martha Black. Curator of Ethnology.

Thanks to all who gave of their time today, and for freely sharing all their expertise and experience!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday's Folklore Photo: Woodcarvings by Kevin Coates

Kevin Coates is a talented local artist who draws inspiration from traditional Newfoundland industries for the subject matter of his work. Coates, who is self-taught, picked up caricature carving about 15 years ago after reading about it in a magazine. He had been looking for a new hobby and this style of wood carving peaked his interest. Much like caricature drawings, these carvings exaggerate the peculiar features of a person or object. Coates, who grew up and still resides in Winterton, is inspired by the fishery and the majority of his carvings reflect this.

When you first see a Kevin Coates carving your eye is immediately drawn to the face, which he works on for about a third of the time it takes to complete the rest of the carving. When asked where he gets inspiration for the faces, Coates replied, “it’s something about someone I remember, especially from back when I was a kid. We spent a lot of time down by the wharf, at this and that, with the fishermen and the old fellows.”

Coates mostly uses pine or fir along with several different tools to carve his pieces. Interestingly though, Coates' favorite tool is a modified right-handed filleting knife, or splitting knife, that he cut down to about five or six inches. As Coates describes, "where I'm left-handed and it's a right-handed splitting knife the turn is perfect for me."

For more information on Kevin Coates and his carvings, check out the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Researched and written by: Nicole Penney

Works Cited:
Penney, Nicole. Interview with Kevin Coates on the Subject of Wood Carving. Recorded April 26, 2013