... more about Phoebe

Phoebe Dunbar is a wood artist and citizen of Sooke who loves art and nature. She works with all kinds of west coast native woods, including burls. She creates both functional and decorative three-dimensional wood art. She is the gestalt, the sum, of all that which engages her interests and passions. She has many interests and experiences, all associated with the lifestyle of living on the west coast. "For some, living on the west coast means one thing: trees, and by extension: wood," as Graham Ware once said about her. Because of her interest in natural history and exploring the back country, she loves to source her own wood, where possible, with her woodworker and outdoor friends.

Born and raised in Vancouver, Phoebe and her husband moved to Sooke in 1979, attracted to the rural lifestyle of the west coast and several rewarding job opportunities in education, social services and community development. She retired in 1998 to enjoy exploring rain forests, rivers, old growth big and tall trees, and paddling endless miles of Vancouver Island’s west coast shorelines and islands. With family and friends for over 40 years, they paddled B.C.’s west and central coasts, and Haida Gwaii. When storm-bound, Phoebe learnt to stay put, beachcomb seasoned cedar, and carve using only hand tools: paddles, eating utensils, feast bowls, chess sets and scrabble boards! These were the settings where she became inspired to be a wood artist. Now, her carving shed is where she loves to be.

Phoebe’s wood storage sheds are full of locally sourced woods to last a lifetime… cedar, yew, maple, fir, spruce, western hemlock, arbutus, laurel, laburnum, black locus, red plum, apple. Since 2005, she has had her art exhibited in galleries, fine art shows, private collections and her home studio.

Beginning in January of 2016, Phoebe coordinated and inspired a most creative team, Calgary’s Roth and Ramberg Photography and Sooke writer Pirjo Raits, to vision and start producing OUT of the WOODS, Woodworkers Along the Salish Sea. In July of 2017, Heritage House Publishing took on the production of this book. Lara Minja joined the team in the winter of 2018 to design the book. It was printed over the summer of 2018 and released in October of the same year. To learn more about the success of this most artistic and creative book, please visit Phoebe’s Carving Shed blog at phoebewood.com.

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