Fred’s Fiddle

A gift for my coworker Fred who celebrated 50 years as a teacher. He is an inspiration in many ways.

The material is cottonwood bark that I found en-route to Whiteshell provincial park in fall 2016. Me and three friends were on our way to do a weekend canoe trip when we pulled into a campground just outside of Winnipeg after a long evening of driving (after long days at work). The next morning before we set out towards our destination, the Red River provided me the materials to make this fiddle. Some of its formative curves were roughed out while sitting on some rough stone by the water.

Paul Sellers, a fine woodworker, explains that he teaches his kids and students how to make a burger flipper when they are learning to use their tools. It’s not until later that they realize that in learning how to carve a burger flipper, they are also learning how to carve the features of a violin or a guitar.

Carving is a process of patience.

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