Friday, February 21, 2014

The Glacier Bay Tribal House Project

Door post with a goat head carved into it
Shark backbone doorpost
Killer whale doorpost
Octopus doorpost
Gordon Greenwald with one panel painted and carved
Herb Sheakley carving a cedar panel
It's been more than a few months since I last dropped in on the school auto shop to see how the Glacier Bay Tribal House project is going. I have to admit, I was pretty well blown away by the amount of work that's been done there. I love to see skilled people at work and it's obvious that the three carvers, Gordon Greenwald, Herb Sheakley and Owen James have carving skills in abundance. I regret that I was unable to sufficiently capture the detail and beauty of the carved objects. It was a little bit hard to get around in the building, and the fluorescent lighting leaves a greenish cast to the pictures. As you can see in several of the pictures, the upright blue lifts are still in place for raising cars  off the floor to work on. The shop hasn't been used for it's intended purpose for years, but it seems to work quite well as a large enough place to do the work on the door posts and tall panels. All of the wood is red cedar and the work has been done entirely by hand. All of the door posts are spectacular, but my favorite is the fourth picture of the octopus. Gordy was saying, quite sarcastically, that Herb loved working on the suckers. I can't imagine the patience that it takes to do this kind of skilled work. It sounds like the project could be finished by June; at least that's what they're shooting for. I'm not sure how they will transport it up to Glacier Bay National Park. I guess by barge. I'm sure they'll be supervising the whole process though. You wouldn't want anything to happen to years of hard work because of some careless buffoon with a fork lift or crane. Gordy mentioned that during the summer when the cruise ships are in, they have 300-400 visitors a day. For the life of me I don't know how anyone could get any work done with so many people in and out. I haven't been into Glacier Bay for a number of years. I'm not allowed to troll there, although I can long line for halibut because I have a Limited Access Lifetime permit. I'm not sure how difficult it would be to get into Bartlett Bay where the Tribal House will be located when the cruise ships are running all over, but I may just have to make a special trip there just to see the completed project. If you should happen to be in the area when it's erected, I would highly recommend visiting it. You won't be disappointed.

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