A real labour of love

Mar­itime wood carv­ings show­cased dur­ing com­pe­ti­tion and show

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - THE GUARDIAN

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.”

MITCH MAC­DON­ALD/THE GUARDIAN

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.

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