Patrick B. Pointer, master wood carver, explains that for him relief carving means learning to see again as a child. Especially to look for light and its effects in everything. To immerse himself fully in his work so he can catch what needs more attention.
Since Pointer’s vocation is not carving a model but interpreting an entire scene, he must make difficult choices in the process of creation. His inspirations come from the natural surroundings and historical traditions of the Great Lakes Region of the USA.
Now a minister with the Assemblies of God in Manistee, Michigan (on the east-central shore of Lake Michigan), as well as an honored maritime artist, he used to work in the auto industry as a model and pattern maker. High-relief wood sculpturing became his occupation in 1978, when he began first by carving a hawk on a gigantic scale. This beginner choose to hew this creature out of a solid wood beam from a gold mine in Blackhawk, Colorado.
EDMUND FITZGERALD SERIES. One of his best-known works is his first tribute to the Edmund Fitzgerald passing the Great Lakes Engineering Works on her 1958 maiden voyage, a work titled “Fare Three Well.” This carving was done in African mahogany while the frame was made of Honduran mahogany, black walnut, cherry, and white pine.
His second carving devoted to the memory of this tragic ship (and not to be confused with the first) is titled “Fare Well,” showing the last sight of the Edmund Fitzgerald as it went down in 1975. Both were commissioned in 2008, to honor the fiftieth anniversary of the Edmund Fitzgerald’s launching. Pointer’s art career has been rich in honors and awards, locally and across the US as well. Most recently he was part of the ArtPrize 2011 exhibition.
HIS METHOD. Pointer tries to express the single moment in time that defines the ‘essence’ of an event as simply as possible, omitting unneeded elements.
The result is a nearly monochromatic picture in wood, where the artist manipulates perspective and vantage point to create the illusion of depth. The wall art he creates calls for special chisels, knives, and other carving tools.
LINKS. To learn more and see more completed carvings, see his website–and dig deep! Why? Numerous larger images, provided in series, offer more insights and comments attached to them, an unexpected but buried bonus. SEE his art website , his process with comments, his Facebook artist page .
Hope you enjoy learning more of this outstanding artist with an unusual medium and technique.–CLH