Tofino profile: Artist Lyne Des Rosier
by Miranda Black, Tofino
Lyne Des Rosiers was born in Montreal and as a child lived in multiple towns throughout Quebec and France. She remembers meeting people of all types, from European childhood friends to the Gypsies who once lived across the street. Taking inspiration from those gypsies, after her graduation from the Fine Arts program at Joliette cegep, Lyne followed her inspiration to the west coast. As a 20 year old fruit picker, Lyne fell in love with the Rockies and lived in Canmore for 4 years before meeting the friend who introduced her to the Alberni Valley.
The rustic life style seemed charming to young Lyne and when invited to live in a tepee beside Taylor River, her heart fluttered. Lyne lived on that site until a month later, when her and her friend realized that the water level was higher than they had first expected. Lyne rolled up camp and headed off in the direction of Tofino.
When Lyne arrived in Tofino she was inspired to create wind chimes out of red cedar. The first step was to buy the equipment. She went to the Tofino Co-op Hardware to find a hand drill. A man approached Lyne and offered his help to the lost girl in the hardware store. Lyne informed him that she had never worked with wood and explained her creative need to create wooden wind chimes. He looked down at her and asked her why she didn't make a bowl instead. He then invited Lyne to visit his home on Chesterman's Beach.
Lyne had no expectations of this man, but when she walked into this shed and her jaw dropped in awe. This humble man was really humble Henry Nolla, a friend to Tofitians and an expert carver. He welcomed Lyne to join him to learn the trade of wood carving. She jumped at the chance to live a life less ordinary learning from this extraordinary man.
Lyne shared the naturalistic lifestyle of Henry and for the next 1? years she assisted him on many projects from wooden bowls to totem poles. In return Henry taught Lyne how to properly make carving tools and helped her acquire wood for her own projects. Lyne's departure from working for Henry as an apprentice happened when Charles McDiarmid purchased one of Lyne's hand carved bowls for The Wickaninnish Inn, creating inspiration for Lyne's career in woodworking. At that point, Lyne changed her lifestyle and for the next 2 ? years she was no longer a working apprentice of Henry but a co-worker, working on her own artwork with assistance from Henry.
The exposure that Lynn received from The Wickaninnish Inn, along with B&Bs and local resorts brought her to be able to sell her work throughout the world. Lyne has sold work to galleries in Texas and throughout the US, France, Germany and most everywhere in Canada. She finds many people who walk into Henry's shed and fall in love with the west coast, from the cedar to the native tools.
Through Lyne's associates, she has had the pleasure of travelling for work. She once participated in the opening of a West Coast Aboriginal Arts Expo. She travelled with Joe Martin to Münster, Germany to display pieces created by Joe. Many others from the Nuu-Cha-Nulth Tribe had a chance to participate and Henry Nolla displayed a totem pole. Lyne also travelled to Lahaina, Maui for a canoe building festival where she assisted Joe Martin with steaming a canoe.
Lynn's work ranges from personal carvings to more traditional Native works. She has created many projects starting with carved bowls, to a 4? mask, only three years ago, to several totems.
Her work can be viewed at The Carving Shed on Chesterman Beach, close to the Wickaninnish Inn.
Check out our artist's page on Lyne des Rosier from
Miranda Black is more intimidating than she looks.
So don't mess with her!