The Carving on the Edge Festival hosts a close knit community of carvers, that grieves with one another when anyone in our community suffers. A long standing member of our community, Keith Plumley, suffered a stroke earlier in the year. His friends and family launched a GoFundMe to fundraise for the costs of Keith’s continued rehabilitation and long term medical care. They have surpassed their initial goal of $10,000, raising over $18,000! For anyone looking to send encouragement, well wishes or financial support to Keith and his family, the link to the GoFundMe page has been included below.
Enthusiasm and encouragement are trademarks of Keith Plumley’s relaxed relationship to artists and artisans, openhandedly sharing his knowledge and resources. With his easy-going style, visitors and tourists to his workshop, or the cultural activities in Clayoquot Sound, feel welcome. His ongoing contribution to the arts and participation in shows such as The Carving on the Edge Festival is much appreciated.
“The festival began in 2010. Keith joined the festival in 2012, demonstrating his burl-making projects, exhibiting annually in the Edge Art Show, and sharing his love of wood with the community of carvers that gather annually at the festival. The dynamic and creative carving scene in Tofino includes Keith, his family, his collaborators, and his active workshop. He is one of the pillars of this community.”Norma Dryden
From demonstrating carving techniques to the public at the Village Common in Tofino years ago to sharing his workshop and time on collaborative projects, Keith is a true champion of the arts. Soon after his arrival in Tofino, Keith established a small gallery and studio on the Pacific Rim Highway, where Beaches Grocery stands today. His devotion to the arts encompasses all mediums, including drawing and painting. Artists from as far away as Quebec, like Natalie, known for her amazing “en plein aire” painting style, became part of the Pacific Rim arts scene at this time. Many are still part of the fabric that weave together a diverse array of artistic talents in the region.
The “Moon Project,” initiated by Keith, offers new opportunities to work creatively. In this ongoing initiative, he provides turned pieces, which are then designed and carved exclusively by women. This ongoing collective venture will feature thirteen moon sculptures. Many people have utilized his workshop and lathe for interesting projects, including a “halibut club” turned by Joe Martin, a well-known canoe carver from the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations.
Red and yellow cedar, usually salvaged, dominate Keith’s wonderful handiwork. A tour of his shop and yard includes an enlivened talk, on each chunk of driftwood, or slab of timber and its potential, the designs in his mind’s eye. Each hunk of lumber transforms to a unique bowl, platter, mask, or decorative piece on his lathe. Raw materials transform for further embellishment, with incised designs, carving, inlay and sometimes metal and glass. The complex intricacy of burls, hidden by their weathered bark layers, is revealed, as he turns them. Finished to perfection, these artifacts seem to glow with a light that comes from the heart of the wood.
His work is in collections worldwide, and he is represented by Lovecraft Gallery in Tofino. Featured in many restaurants, inns, and lodges, Keith’s art, with its west coast style, enhances the ambience of the amazing architecture in Clayoquot Sound. The light that comes from the heart of the wood in his creations, also comes from the heart and soul of Keith John Plumley. He is a man dedicated to his family, community and the arts.
If you would like to contribute to Keith’s GoFundMe fundraiser or pass along sentiments to the Plumley family, please click the button below. Thank you to Jane Woodbury for her support and collaboration.