A Journey To What Matters Project Grant- Material Traditions: Cedar Residency

Project: Material Traditions: Gut, Ivory, and Cedar
Grantee: Anchorage Museum Association
Written by: Marian Kaminitz

As a conservator from the National Museum of the American Indian – one of the loaning institutions to the Anchorage Museum’s Arctic Studies Center – I was invited to observe and participate in the Voices from Cedar residency with guest carvers John Hudson, Donald Varnell and Norman Jackson.

I learned so much listening to the carvers talk about their work, watching them carve new pieces, observing them teach students how to carve with adzes, chisels and curved knives, and from discussing the museum objects on view. I was literally able to sit aside Norm Jackson and watch him as he determined what cut to make next in mapping out the process of making a carved rattle. The skills and thought processes as well as presence of mind during carving were key to making the right cutting strokes.

I am grateful for this opportunity.

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