A group of wood carvers spent part of their August long weekend creating functional art together.
The sixth annual wood carving exposition at Brown’s Bay Resort brought together a handful of the Island’s finest carvers this year for a unique challenge: benches.
“We bring together a bunch of the famous Vancouver Island wood carvers to come here and show what they can do with these beautiful pieces of wood,” said Esther Hollink, director of operations for Brown’s Bay Resort.
The carvers were provided a giant red cedar that was toppled on the property over the winter and battled the heat over Saturday and Sunday to create their pieces.
“It’s not an awful lot of time, but it’s pretty incredible what they can do in such a short time,” said Hollink.
Nanaimo’s Dan Richey created a rock cod bench, while Campbell River’s Ralph Wilson created a whale bench, and Jerry Strelioff and George Tuira teamed up to create a wizened wizard bench with vignettes of his woodland friends.
For Tuira, a weekend spent with theses carvers was invaluable.
“It’s just amazing, ” he said. “You can’t get mentorship like this.”
While Hollink said she’s not 100 per cent sure where the benches will rest, they will try and put them where it makes sense. The wizard, for example, may end up in the forest, while the cod and the whale may rest closer to the water.
As the carvers worked, guests stopped by to marvel at their creations.
“They love it,” said Hollink. “It gives them something to visit multiple times during the day so they can see the progress happening.”
As the hours wore on, the carvers continued to lend a hand to each other, sanding, chiseling and sawying away at the wood.
“All the carvers are really amazing. The professionals, they help each other out and share information and ideas,” said Tuira. “Quite a group. It’s nice to be a part of it.”