We are proud of our long-standing relationships with many Northwest Coast Indigenous carvers that allow us to work with you to create beautiful custom masks, panels, paddles, totem poles, bentwood boxes, and other carvings. Ordering a commissioned Northwest Coast work of art can be a wonderful and collaborative experience for you, the artist, and the gallery. Whether you have a specific design or crest in mind, or are wanting the artist to interpret your vision, we will work with you and the artist to make a one-of-a-kind lasting treasure.
A few questions to start thinking about:
- What kind of artwork are you looking for? (Panel, Mask, Paddle, Totem Pole, Bentwood Box, etc.)
- What size are you thinking? And will it be inside or outside (totem pole)?
- Do you have a specific artist in mind?
- Do you have a certain design or crest in mind, or would you like the artist to interpret your story?
- Would you like the carving to be painted with specific colours or just oiled to highlight the natural grain of the wood?
- What is your overall vision for the piece?
- Do you have a specific budget and timeline in mind?
If you are not sure of the answers, we are here to help, and can talk it through with you. After we work out the details, we will send you a customized quote, which will vary widely depending on the type of work and the artist. The next step is often for the artist to create a draft design, fine-tune the elements with your feedback and when ready, start the process of carving the right piece of wood.
Custom Panels & Paddles
Whether you are looking for carved or sandblasted, painted or unpainted, small or large, there are many possibilities when ordering custom.
Panels and paddles are traditionally made from red or yellow cedar, and can vary in shape and size. They can be carved or sandblasted, painted or unpainted, with inlays (abalone, mother-of-pearl, copper) or none, and with a wide array of designs and crests.
Carved Loon Paddle with abalone inlays by Kwakwaka'wakw artist Bill Henderson
Nuu-chah-nulth artist Joshua Prescott holding a carved Raven and Sea Serpent Panel with abalone and cedar bark
Sandblasted Raven Paddle by Kwakiutl artist Trevor Hunt
Original and authentic Northwest Coast masks are based on a living tradition, where the artist will focus on and interpret a traditional story or symbol to which they have hereditary rights. A mask will often represent supernatural creatures, animals, myths, or transformation stories of a human to a mythical creature/animal or spirit. As well as being popular and collectable works of art, masks and other carvings continue to play an integral role in cultural and ceremonial practices.
Masks are usually carved from red and yellow cedar, or alder wood, and may be painted or unpainted. They can include adornments including abalone, mother-of-pearl, copper, horse hair, cedar bark, or feathers, and may even include articulated parts (moving joints, often a beak or wings, that are manually activated by pulling on an integrated rope or string). The representations and styles of masks can vary widely depending on which nation the artist is part of.
Baby Raven Headdress by Kwakiutl artist Trevor Hunt
Email the gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us toll free at 1-877-338-2120 to discuss custom options and help bring your vision to life.