Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 26 > Inside Front cover - Sidney Howard of Albert Bridge

Inside Front cover - Sidney Howard of Albert Bridge

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1980/8/1 (772 reads)

Sidney Howard of Albert Bridge Mother came from Cleveland, Richmond County. MacCormick's up there, Maclntyre's. Lake. My father was formerly from England. I grew up right in Sydney. My father was an engineer on ships. And I didn't think of anything but try to learn carpenter work when I was a young fellow • tried to make wagons and carts and stuff like that. And my father showed me how to use the paintbrush. I did house painting and rough carpentry work, fixing steps and fences, help people shingle houses. That kind of stuff. And then I used to dig wells. (Are you surprised that people are inter? ested in your carvings?) Oh, yes, I am. I didn't think I was doing too well. But all of a sudden it took over. Chris Hunt? ington was the main man that started me off. He was the first one to come and buy my stuff. But I did it for 30 years, off and on, not steady. Most of that time I was giving it away. Friends. Some people would buy it. Then all of a sudden the stock would die out. Then when Chris came along it started to move. (How long have you been putting carvings at the end of your road?) Well, for the last 8 or 9 years. I'll tell you why I did it first. When I bought this place, people didn't know where I lived. So I said, "I'll put something down there one of these days and you'll know then when you'll see it--you'11 know where I live." And that's what happened. I put Giant MacAskill there first. It was supposed to be Giant MacAskill when I made it, but it wasn't too good. So I named it Wild Archie. And the other one I put with it was Long Lena. Just for names, you know. Since then I did a Giant MacAskill that's more like him. And now I have Jaws out there and a big fish hanging--I don't know what kind of fish it is. I just made it big. The first thing I ever carved, I believe, was a young girl and a boy--smaller ones. I just wanted to do it, I wanted to find out if I could carve, I got so interested in it. I didn't see carving around. I just took a liking, when I got the piece finished, and I got interested--I decided to figure out to make them better and better. As of now, I'm getting a little better than I was before. They were coming into my head and I'd go out and do it. The stick is there. Just go ahead hack, hack at it. (You say hack, hack--but how do you really go about it.) Well, I fig? ure out first the height. Look at the stick and pick the good face side to it. And then mark it out roughly. Then go at it. Mark the head first, decide what the hair style is going to be and then decide the features of the face, whether it's going to be a boy or a girl. I get going. Then I stand back. Then if I think it looks better for a girl's face I make it that way. Then I go at her, carve out whatever's there. I use the axe--the small hand axe --I mark out the features rough. I get the head and chest right. Then the rest will automatically come out pretty good. (Your basic tools...?) The axe, the rasp, hammers and chisels • and the powersaw to cut the stick off, mark out a little like the chest, then finish with the axe. And for legs, I'll take the powersaw and open it up from here down, make the pants. Then shape the body and waist, decide where the feet go and how much base I'll leave to put in the ground, when it's finished. I like the feet to end up just

Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download