Meet Joe McConnell.
He's a tall man, and some might say he reminds them of the trees which serve as his material source.
Joe has been carving Northwest Native-Style relief and 3-dimensional pieces since 1988 and has received numerous awards at local and regional carving shows. His carvings include masks, bowls, rattles, warrior helmets, paddles, and totem poles.
There is something special about artists who, in addition to creating commissions and works for sale, also choose to teach. The legacy of sharing craftsmanship by
enabling others to make is a powerful one. Since January 2001, Joe has been teaching this form of woodcarving six times a week at his studio in Sammamish, WA. At the upcoming Sammamish Arts Fair, he will display and demo his craft and it never fails to draw a crowd. Joe shares extensively about northwest native culture and the symbolism of the images represented in carved works.
Beaver Lake WoodWorks, Joe`s studio program, was started to provide teens through seniors an opportunity to learn NW native-style woodcarving. In his studio, Joe provides the knowledge, understanding and skills to help a student turn a wood plank or log into a carved and painted native-style piece of art. Because most students start class with little, if any, woodcarving experience, class size is kept small to allow one on one teaching. Beginning students learn the basics by carving and painting a traditional relief art form. No previous carving skills are needed to complete a project. Intermediate students expand their skills by tackling more complex projects that explore the ways of combining
relief-carving with three-dimensional carving. Advanced students focus on three
dimensional pieces such as masks, paddles and bowls. Novices and advanced carvers work together learning and sharing their experiences in the same class.
A look at the gallery on his website (www. beaverlakewoodworks.org) showcases some of the incredible works his instruction has helped make possible. At the 2009 November NW Woodcarvers Show Joe’s students won several First Place and Best of Division ribbons as well as Best Novice, Best Beginner and BEST of SHOW.
When not teaching, Joe works on commission pieces for both corporate and private collectors.
See Joe at the 6th Annual Sammamish Arts Fair, October 13th & 14th, 2012 and http://sammamishartsfair.wordpress.com/