There is so much beauty in wood. It gives us joy to release Father Forest and other wood spirits into the visible world.
Mail: Box 74, Elma MB R0E 0Z0
Walter Keller, wood sculptor
P.O. box 74 , ELMA R0E 0Z0
Tel: 204 348 3115 firstname.lastname@example.org
Born, raised and educated in Switzerland, I immigrated to Canada in 1967. I enjoyed a 30 year career as a logger, forester, forest fire fighter and log builder on both the European and North American continents.
In 1996, I discovered chainsaw carving and wood sculpting! I have been self employed as a professional wood sculptor since 2000. I am totally self taught and have received no instruction in my medium.
My previous careers as a forester engaged in forests and forest fire management, and later as a log builder and log building instructor have left me with a profound appreciation for my medium – the natural tree trunk. I will only work with naturally grown wood preferably from our local area.
Carving with chain saws and hand tools, I always strive to incorporate the natural features of the trunks, stumps, logs or driftwood into the emerging carving or sculpture. Life size realistic animal carvings, depicting the fauna of the boreal forest are a large part of my carving repertoire.
On the other hand I have found a free hand kind of sculpting, releasing the spirit of the wood into the visible world. I work with whole stumps with the root system intact, tree crowns, witch’s brooms, multiple forked trunks. Nature’s quirks are my medium as I call the wood spirits into the tangible state. These whimsical creatures are allowed to appear mostly without any preconceived drawings.
All my carvings are dependant on the medium. The piece of wood and its properties dictate what can be carved from it. I often use discarded butt logs from clear cut operations, stumps from land clearing sites and large character logs from urban tree removal services. I often get called to carve into trunks left standing, after the removal of a tree, therefore the size of my carvings varies greatly.
Today, 90% of my work is commissioned (see website) and I find it a challenge to find the time required to explore new subjects in order to expand the scope of my carving repertoire or to research new areas of wood sculpting.
I am a founding member of the EMAC Eastern Manitoba Artists Cooperative. I exhibited some of my work at the Manitoba Art Expo 2006. I entered a piece in the Eastern Manitoba Juried Art Show 2009. I was featured in CTV’s “Manitoba Moments” in 2004. I have taught introductory courses in chainsaw carving on numerous occasions in Switzerland and here in Manitoba.