A Non-Native Working In A Native Tradition
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Wood Magazine

A Non-Native Working In A Native Tradition

Dale Faustitch honors the indigenous people of the Northwest coast of North America by creating art in their tradition.

Sophisticated woodworking art
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Dale Faulstitch
dale faulstitch
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Bear mask
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Sophisticated woodworking art

The indigenous people of the Northwest coast of North America created a unique art form that goes back long before contact with Euro-Americans. This sophisticated art embodies the realm between the natural and the supernatural; where distinctions between humans and animals are obscured. This dynamic imagery is expressed in a style as rhythmic and flowing as it is complex.

I moved to the Northwest Coast in the early 1970s. My home and studio are located on the North Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, where I live with my wife, Heather, and where we raised our children. I've been earning my living as an artist/woodcarver/sculptor for more than 35 years. Intrigued by this wonderful Northwest Coast art form, my objective as an artist is to create original, contemporary objects inspired by long established aboriginal themes. I also wish to pay homage to the culture that once flourished here on the Northwest Coast, and to the ancient, mostly anonymous, masters that helped to create this culture.

As a non-native working in a native tradition, I've had the privilege and honor to enjoy a unique relationship with the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe of Sequim, Washington. For more than 20 years we've collaborated on numerous art projects, including art works for a casino, medical and dental clinics, community center, social services buildings, market and deli, a golf course, and many more.


 

Majestic totem poles
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Dance plaza
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Majestic totem poles

Along with my talented crew, I've carved more than 50 totem poles so far, ranging in size from 5-49 feet tall. I've also created numerous masks, drums, steam-bent boxes, animal form bowls, rattles, and traditional objects for actual ceremonial use. In addition, I've created carved doors, wall panels, furniture, and other pieces with contemporary applications, which can be found in private and corporate collections throughout the United States and in many other countries.

--Dale Faulstitch
North Olympic Peninsula, Washington

See more of Dale's culturally inspired work at his Web site, or read his book, "The Totem Poles of the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, the Art of Dale Faulstich." Dale's shop was also featured in the 2008 edition of America's Best Home Workshops.

The Totem Poles of the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, the Art of Dale Faulstich
Available through the Northwest Native Expressions Art Gallery: (360) 681-4640 or gallery@jamestowntribe.org)


 

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