Full Size

TSUB Q'UAQw WITL (Second Raven)

Length: 34 feet, with a 5 foot beam.
Suquamish Raven Canoe Society.
Red cedar, Douglas fir and fiberglass.

Commissioned by the Suquamish Raven Canoe Society, it was completed July 3, 2003. In style it is essentially a Salish canoe, meaning that historically its geographical range was from southern Puget Sound in Washington state to around the area of Duncan, British Columbia.

Canoes of this type were traditionally carved from a solid western red cedar log, but because of the difficulty and expense of obtaining cedar of the quality and dimensions required, this was built using wood strips over a 2 in. x 4 in. fir frame and fiber-glassed.


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Klumachun (Killer Whale)

Length: 35 feet.
Port Gamble S’Klallam tribe.
Carved from red cedar.

Cover of Native Peoples Magazine with Klumachun on the cover. Scene is from the famous Paddle to Seattle celebrating Washington State centennial.

In 1989, I was approached by Jake Jones, the tribal council chairman of the Port Gamble S’klallam tribe, to carve a 34-foot Salish style canoe for the “Paddle to Seattle” as part of the Washington State Centennial celebration.

As a training project, we first carved two 16-foot versions then made a set of working drawings. I and several volunteers, from on and off the reservation, worked for five weeks until the hull was completed and spread from 32” to 56-1/2”. This canoe, manned with tribal members is featured on the 1989 Fall issue of “Native People” magazine. The S’klallam tribe is very proud of this canoe and uses it continuously on trips around Washington and British Columbia.


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Ne’x (Killer Whale)

Length: 36 feet. Width. 46 inches. Red cedar.

My first attempt at canoe carving was in 1972. I had allowed myself a six week sabbatical from a schedule of other carving commitments to carve a thirty foot canoe in the “northern” style. I soon found out that there was a lot I didn’t know about making a canoe. I didn’t anticipate the changes that occur in the hull during the spreading process.

After spreading, the canoes width had gone from 32” to 42”. This is narrow for this length of canoe. This, combined with other factors, made the craft a little tippy. I learned a lot from my mistakes and over the next years did more research, carving several working scale models.


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Tsuks Ne’x (Little Killer Whale)

Length: 20 feet. Width: 45 inches.
Pacific Science Center, 1985.
Red cedar.

I was better qualified in 1985, when the Seattle Science Center commissioned me to do a five-week canoe carving demonstration. At the end of the allotted time, a twenty-foot-long Northern style canoe was ready for spreading. It went from 27" across the gunwales to 46" and was a success in every way. It's a wonderful craft and performs well in the most severe conditions, having seen many miles of travel over the waters of Puget Sound, The San Juan Islands, and the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Portfolio: canoes
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The Northwest Coast Native canoes are marvels of naval architecture and prime examples of form and function sculpture in the purest sense of the word. The graceful form and lines of these craft permeate much of Northwest Coast Native Art.

To meet the challenge of designing and successfully carving any of the various regional styles of canoe is a gratifying experience, which is further enriched by being the vessel's pilot or even a passenger.

TSUB Q'UAQw WITL (Second Raven)

Length: 34 feet, with a 5 foot beam.
Suquamish Raven Canoe Society.
Red cedar, Douglas fir and fiberglass.

Klumachun (Killer Whale)

Length: 35 feet.
Port Gamble S’Klallam tribe.
Carved from red cedar.

Ne’x (Killer Whale)

Length: 36 feet. Width. 46 inches. Red cedar.