Master Woodcarver Tom Cote of Limestone Maine will be the Artist in Residence of Fiber College on Penobscot Bay, September 10-13, 2009. Tom will offer a full day class on Thursday and a variety of free demonstrations and shorter class sessions throughout the weekend. When asked to describe a carving student, Tom responded: “after 35 years of carving, I’ve learned that a good wood carver pays attention to detail, has patience, and the ability to see the beauty in a piece of wood. A typical student is young, middle age and old, male or female, outdoorsmen or couch potato.” The planning committee thought this sounded like the perfect fit for a gathering of diverse artists interested in all forms of fiber work from spinning to fly tying, weaving to papermaking.
Mr. Cote will also be offering his mainly decorative carvings for sale and is exploring the possibility of making drop spindles especially for Fiber College. His works are currently displayed in the Center for Maine Crafts in Gardiner (Tom carved the handsome entrance sign to the Center) and selected gift shops around the state. He has been published in Chip Chats and participated in statewide festivals as a featured artist including the International Folk Festival of Bangor and the Acadian Festival in Madawaska.
Addressing the question of what a woodcarver can share with a spinner or knitter, Tom says “For one thing, he or she may learn the types of wood to use to make a better shuttle or even a better knitting needle and what makes that type of wood better for these uses, being aware of the way the fibers are arrange in the tree…furthermore, loved ones have been carving tools that enable traditional textile artists to weave, spin, tat and knit with pleasure that can only be derived from a tool that was carved for personal use, to fit into one’s own hand.” Saturday night, at the annual lasagna dinner, Tom will have the opportunity to explore these relationships in depth as the honored speaker.