Phoebe, born and raised in BC, is a keen member of the world of wood carvers and artists, a genre that is deeply attached and attracted to nature. For some growing up on BC’s west coast this means one thing – trees, and by extension – wood. Phoebe discovered at an early age the beauty and the practical and artistic uses of wood. While beachcombing the shores of West Vancouver and Howe Sound in old clinker boats she watched her father use a froe, sledge hammers, wedges, chisels, hand saws and a mallet to create structures, toys, play houses and wood art objects.
In 1979 Phoebe moved to Sooke where she and her husband embraced a rural lifestyle, exploring rain forests, rivers, old growth big and tall trees, and endless miles of Vancouver Island’s west coast shorelines and islands. With family and friends for over 40 years she paddled B.C.’s west and central coasts, and Haida Gwaii. When storm bound she and her extended family learnt to stay put, beachcomb seasoned cedar, and carve using hand tools. Being storm bound meant to wait it out, stay put, and carve paddles, eating utensils, feast bowls, chess sets and scrabble boards! These were the settings where Phoebe became inspired to be a wood artist. Self taught and mentored by a few, including Victor Newman, she carved functional pieces to give to her friends.
In recent years Phoebe has become an established wood artist – she now uses power tools, works in her own carving shed, adorned with yellow cedar and yew wood poles. Her wood storage sheds are full of locally sourced woods to last a lifetime. Cedar, Yew wood, maple, fir, spruce, western hemlock, arbutus, laurel, laburnum. Since 2005 she has had her art exhibited in galleries, fine art shows, private collections and her home studio. With her Sooke friends she has mastered the art of sourcing and salvaging local woods – old growth burls, roots, stumps and root balls. Sourcing carving wood even includes walking through the clear cuts where felled wood has been left to season, wood not marketable enough to be milled but good enough to have character and be carved.
Phoebe along with a most creative team: Roth and Ramberg Photography, Lara Minje book design, and writer Pirjo Raits are working on a special book to be published/distributed by Heritage House in the fall of 2018. Out of the Woods – Woodworkers Along the Salish Sea. The book will feature over 25 woodworkers – a showcase of very imaginative and creative wood workers – luthiers, a shipwright, wood turners, sculptors, rustic and fine furniture makers, native artists, and free form artists.