Aaron York is an internationally known traditional artist and educator. He is the owner and founder of the Red Child Studio of Fine Wabanaki Arts. Although best known for his skills as a birchbark canoe artisan, he has also revived several other rare Wabanaki art forms such as brides boxes and highly embellished crooked knives.
Stan Neptune is the leading authority on Maine Indian chip carving, root clubs and walking sticks. In the process of learning Penobscot myths, history, legends and stories from Senebeh, a religious elder and root club carver, Stan picked up chip carving.
Erik is Penobscot/Abenaki who grew up spending summers with his Penobscot grandfather on Indian Island, Penobscot Nation, Maine and with his Abenaki mother on Abenaki lands in New Brunswick, Canada.
Joe 'Hugga' Dana is the finest Native American chip carver. Chip carving is a traditional Native American art form specific to the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy tribes of Maine.
The carved woman's head - with her Wabanaki "peaked cap" atop this talking stick is beautiful. This peaked cap would have been worn by Erik's female ancestresses - both Penobscot & Abenaki. Below the face, the barkless portion of the stick shows the elegance that painting can bring. Erik Sappier, Penobscot /Abenaki explains this technique "these sticks take 4-5 coats of stain to achieve the color, whereas the talking sticks I've made in the past are chip carved, stained then stain is wiped away. The painting of the turtle takes me about the same amount of time as it does to carve it, so all in all, these new painted sticks are 2-4 times more time consuming then a chip carved, then stained stick. Also, it's a tougher medium because I can't really draw what I want to chip carve, it scars the stained wood."
This vintage powder horn has recent additions by Kenneth Hamilton, well known artist of reproduction trade items -1680 -mid 1800.
This is a larger crooked knife - a size that is/was used by Wabanaki birch bark canoe makers and in wigwam construction. Crooked knives used in basketmaking and finer work would be smaller. This crooked knife by Kenneth Hamilton has an elegantly chip carved handle of maple and a handmade blade of hand forged carbon steel and hollow ground on the bottom, then polished..
PLEASE Click on each image and it will expand to show full length or more detail of this talking stick.
The carved turtle atop this talking stick shows the elegance that painting the barkless portion of the stick can bring. Erik Sappier, Penobscot /Abenaki explains this technique "these sticks take 4-5 coats of stain to achieve the color, whereas the talking sticks I've made in the past are chip carved, stained then stain is wiped away.
On the top front is a woman's face. She is wearing a traditional Wabanaki peaked cap. An incised flower is at the mid center front of this stick and traditional motifs and chip carving decorate the rest of the lower part. Erik Sappier, Penobscot/Abenaki has work included in a recent Abbe Museum's exhibit.... "Emergence: Root Clubs of the Penobscot Nation".