Basketball was not the only attraction to happen this past week in Prince Rupert. Vendors and artisans, like Prince Rupert carver, Clint Adams, were also showcasing their talents during the games.
Adams was on site at the Jim Ciccone Civic Center as one of over 50 vendors who were in attendance for the All Native Basketball Tournament, which ran from Feb. 9 to Feb. 15. He manned his vendor booth himself while he crafted jewellery and carved on site during the annual event. He has been a vendor at the tournament for the past seven years.
Carving is in his blood. He’s been carving for over 30 years. Adams’ father is Randy Adams, a man he said is a local master carver and taught him the art since he was a young boy.
“It wasn’t forced on me. I naturally gravitated toward it.” said Adams.
Adams’ modesty was apparent when he said he wouldn’t bestow the title of ‘master carver’ upon himself. However, when asked what described a master carver, he said the definition was an artist who could transition carving abilities across many mediums, such as wood, silver, copper and gold among other other things. These are media which Adams uses continuously to produce his craft.
Master carver or not, when Adams was younger, he was accepted into the prestigious Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver.
“I just kept circling back to First Nations art. There is something to be said about it, ” Adams said. “It’s soothing and relaxing. When you get into working on a peice everything quiets down and there is a calm.”
Sometimes, sourcing a product to be carved can be challenging.
“There is plenty of wood around town, but sometimes it can be difficult to find someone to lathe it. I like to keep everything local,” said Adams.
Adams works mainly out of his home and completes carving part time. It takes about 14 hours to complete a traditionally carved wooden bowl. Adams takes on custom work and even air brushes First Nations art onto hockey masks when asked to do so.
“It’s important to know who is doing your art. It’s more personal,” Adams said.
Everyone was welcome to stop by his booth and see him at work as he carved on site at the ANBT. Everything he does is carved by hand. He rarely uses power tools, expect a polishes to give that extra shine when a peice is ready for show.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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