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Ernest Raymond

Region: 
North Slave
Community: 
Yellowknife
Primary Art Type: 
Associations: 

Artist Story

I make jewelry from stone, bone and do woodcarvings. My grandfather started teaching me at nine years old. I would ask my grandfather for money and he would give me a piece of stone and say make your money. I sold it for $175 – and ever since then I have been carving. Since then I have been learning from people around me and doing the best that I can.

I look at the rock and am inspired as to what I can make out of it – a sea animal, land animal or bird. Sometimes it depends on what kind of rock it is or the colour of the stone. I look for odd shapes and try to work with the whole block itself. I also love looking at the finished product and saying to myself, “Wow, I made that out of a piece of rock.”

I take pictures of the rock before I carve it so people know and see what I started with. If I see something in the rock before I carve it, I’ll tell people what I saw. Before it’s done, I know what it will look like and that always amazes me.

Artist Bio: 

When I was nine years old I approached my grandfather for five dollars to go to the store. Instead of reaching for his wallet, he grabbed a piece of stone and put it in my hand. "Make your money", he said to me.

I have been carving ever since.

I was originally taught by my grandfather and since then have learned from many different carvers, and they in turn have learned from me. To be a carver is an investment of time and money, but it is always incredible to start with a raw piece of material and then see what you can create out of it.

It doesn’t really matter what I use to carve with (stone, bone, ivory or driftwood), if the material is there, I can use it and turn it into something unique and beautiful. The odd shaped rocks or bone are always the most interesting. They provide a challenge and, more often than not, turn out to be the best finished pieces…

Last Updated: October 12, 2017

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