Raven's Journey

H: 6 feet W: 3 feet
Artist's collection
Red Cedar

The design on this carved panel depicts the famous pan-coastal Native American story of Raven bringing light to the world, of which there are many versions.

Raven is shown standing on the box that holds the light, which is shown as a personified Sun, whose hands grip the box. His corona has several stars in human form. The Raven as a boy stands behind the sun holding onto the corona. A personified moon fills the Raven's open mouth.

Salish Sea Hunter

H: 6 feet W: 3 feet
Artist's collection
Red Cedar

The design for this panel is intended to give the feeling of the ancient art style of the Salish Sea area. This is the official term used by the American and Canadian governments to define the area of Puget Sound extending down the Strait of Juan de Fuca and up Georgia Strait in British Columbia. While a piece exactly like this was not likely done in past centuries, something similar might have decorated an interior house post. The hunter is shown with tools of his trade—the harpoon, bow and arrows. There is a two-dimensional design of a thunderbird at the top of the panel which may represent his spirit power.

Salish Sea Weaver

H: 6 feet W: 2 feet
Artist's collection
Red Cedar

After having created the “Salish Sea” Hunter, I felt it somehow lacking if there were no female counterpart. Done in a similar style, this panel depicts a woman from the Salish Sea area as a weaver. She has a basket at her feet and is carrying an infant. The tools of her trade are displayed as a spindle whorl under foot and a loom’s upright members on either side of her. The holes depicted are for the cross-bar. The posts are embellished with three dimensional heads of Thunderbirds. A band of basketry designs spans the breadth of the lower panel. Above the weaver’s head is a two dimensional design of a crow, the spirit power of both her and my wife, Betty.

Burden Lady

48 inches x 36 inches. Artist's collection. Carved from yellow cedar, acrylic paint, natural stones sticks and shells

Nineteenth and early twentieth century photos depict Native women, mostly elderly, carrying burdens of firewood using a tumpline.

I’ve always wanted to do a sculpture like that and mentioned once to an acquaintance. It was proposed if I made one 16 feet tall as a speculation piece, he would provide the material free of charge. I would have to design the sculpture so that it comprised of pieces that could be easily assembled and disassembled and installed again with no obvious seams.

The Prince and the Salmon People

6 foot x 12 inches. Artist's collection.
Carved from red cedar.

This is a well known story from the Tsimshian people from northern British Columbia that describes how a young prince was born. I was inspired when a client commissioned me to carve a 27 foot totem pole to represent the story. The salmon is the foundation of the sculpture with his head at the base and the body running upward. The shaman is straddling the salmon around the base of its tail brandishing a spear. On this 6 foot version, the shaman is carrying a large hook in one hand with a coiled up cedar bark line in the other. Below the prince is climbing out of the salmon’s back. Both the shaman and the prince are wearing their salmon charms.

Raven's Getaway

10 feet x 32 inches. Artist's collection.
carved from red cedar.

The theme depicted on this pole is the popular story of Raven bringing light to the world.

Once the world was in darkness, tough times for all the creatures of the world, including humans. Raven wanted to fix the situation. Being magic, he decided to fly to a smoke hole in the sky to the Sky Chief's house where there was a closely guarded box that held all the light of the universe.

Disguised as a hemlock needle floating in the creek, Raven was swallowed by the chief's daughter while she drank. She became pregnant and gave birth to him in human form.

Winning his grandfather's favor as he grew, he asked if he could see into the box and play with the great ball of light. Raven grabbed it and flew out of the smoke hole and back to the world. He threw pieces of the ball into the sky forming the stars. A large one was the moon lighting the night. The largest became the sun lighting the world every day.

Skull Rattle

Height: 12 inches.
Artist's collection.
Bronze and horse hair.

Making this globular rattle was an example for my students—that an artist must realize there is a skull under the skin.

I did the skull structure similar to a stylized Nuxalk human face mask with the flesh removed. The rule would hold true if the sculpture was Tlingit, Yoruba or that of the Sepik River artists.

The original wooden rattle was stolen but fortunately I had cast a mold. Three rattles were cast in bronze and I kept the third one, pictured. The halves of the rattle are welded together with B-Bs rather than trade beads and the handle is wrapped with strips of wild cherry bark that I use on all of my rattle handles. I like using something organic on them.

AVAILABLE WORKS

I was born and raised on the Northwest Coast. Early experiences with Native people in Alaska led me on a lifelong journey seeking knowledge on the subject of Northwest Coast Native culture, art and history.

Over the years I’ve developed close friendships with several Native people and many are artists in this medium.

My involvement in this art form is more a lifestyle than a profession and I love it. The objects I design and produce are done with much passion and for that reason it isn’t always easy to part with them, whether as gifts, or something placed on the market.

I sell my art pieces in order to provide my family with basic needs and hopefully I can at the same time be rewarded knowing that the act will bring joy to the clients, many of whom have become very close friends over the years.

If you are interested in any of these pieces, please call us at 360.779.5584.

Raven's Journey
Salish Sea Hunter
Salish Sea Weaver
Burden Lady
The Prince and the Salmon People
Raven's Getaway
Skull Rattle