A real labour of love
Maritime wood carvings showcased during competition and show
Brightly-coloured replicas of cardinals, ducks, owls and woodland creatures seemed to come to life here this weekend.
The meticulously crafted creations from across the Maritimes were on display during the P.E.I. Wildfowl Carvers Association’s 13th annual competition and show at Stratford Town Hall.
Association president Jim Jeffries said the top pieces often require a three to four month carving period if the artist works at it part time.
“And then it will take another month to two months to do the painting. There’s a lot to learn but even a person whose never picked up a piece of wood before can start,” he said. “We’ve had new carvers who’ve never picked up a block wood before in the Charlottetown Club and they’ve won prizes here. Anyone can learn to carve, it just takes a little bit of patience and guidance.”
Jeffries said there are also some individuals whose main
income is from carving.
Earl and Sheila Young, of Grand Pre N.S., were the two judges for the event.
Having started wood carving in 1990 as a warm indoor leisure activity to get through the winter, the couple began competing at the world competitions in Ocean City, Maryland in 1992.
“I carve and she paints,” said Earl, noting the couple’s favourite fowl to create are ducks. “It is (a team effort).”
The couple said that while younger generations seem more interested in computers than carving, the craft can be a very satisfying hobby for anybody.
“It’s just amazing what you can do with wood,” said Sheila. “Carving is something you can do anywhere, whether its in the city or country, and it’s for any age group.”
Jeffries said part of the drive behind the annual competition and show is to get the public to support the local carvers and perhaps develop an interest in it themselves.
“It’s a relatively inexpensive hobby to get into. If you learn a few processes and procedures you can do quite well with a modest investment of less than $100,” he said.
“And you can spend as much time as you like or as little time as you like. It’s a wonderful craft.”
Crowds admire some of the works created for the 2015 P.E.I. Wildfowl Carvers Association’s competition and show held at Stratford Town Hall on the weekend.