Over the years, Pete Seyl and his wife have traveled to far off places, taking in various cultures and developing a love of indigenous art work, American Indian in particular. Their collection of masks from Africa, Central America, and Asia has grown through the years but was missing the coveted NW Indian mask, which are rare finds.
Pete had been contemplating carving a mask himself in the NW style, and learned of a seminar led by Jay Haavik, through Greg Blomberg of Lopez Island, who is a carver and and maker of fine NW Indian carving tools (www.rockisland.com) which “was an absolute wonder to work with, perfect for carving my type of project”. The seminar was “the perfect launching pad for my project, as Jay is extremely experienced and patient and enjoyable” Pete took the 4 day seminar at the Sitka Art Center (www.sitkacenter.org) in Lincoln City Oregon from Jay Haavik (www.jayhaavik.com) a local Seattle artist and carver. Pete thoroughly enjoyed the learning experience “eight old farts sitting around carving their projects, loads of fun”.
Tzunukua (aka Dzunukua/Tsunukua) as legend has it, is the old hag of the forest up the BC Coast who the children were told would eat them if they wandered to far into the woods by themselves. Pete’s Tzunukua mask is carved of Western Red Cedar, white horse hair, replicated abalone, and teeth made of shells he absconded from a decorated coconut his daughter had brought him from her Peace Corps tour in Africa.
Countless hours went into the creation of this work of art, when asked if he’d do it again, “yes!” We’re tracking down just the right block for his next project.