After moving to Tofino, BC, Canada, Christen Dokk Smith benefited from the knowledge of local First Nations master carvers. He learned to sit in quiet contemplation with the wood, and to listen to it speak. Christen’s cross-cultural explorations have included a Nuu-chah-nulth ancestor mask embellished with elements of Viking carving (featured in Salt Magazine, Oct. 6, 2016) and “The Traveler”, a low-relief carving in contemporary Viking style emblazoned on a sculpture shaped like a traditional dugout canoe. With his deep new connection with the wood, Christen began working exclusively with salvaged wood. This included participating in the oneTree Project, as one of 46 artisans selected to carve pieces of an old-growth Bigleaf Maple from the Cowichan Valley, which had to be taken down due to safety reasons. His sculpture, “Inside-Out” as a boy discovers a tree, was part of the oneTree exhibition (2015) at the Robert Bateman Centre in Victoria, BC. Since moving to Canada’s west coast, Christen has been an active participant in Tofino’s Carving on the Edge Festival where he has also provided workshops and talks on Viking carving as well as artisnal tool-sharpening demos.

StyleWest CoastYear(s)2012-Present

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