tofino artist wayne adams

Tofino artist Wayne Adams


Thirty years ago Wayne Adams began carving at age twenty four. At that time, he spent weeks away from his family, roaming the forests of BC as a ranger.

Cedar surrounded him, and he decided to take up carving it to pass the lonely nights. Birds, his first carvings, were brought home as gifts to his children. Wayne developed a love for birds at a young age, when he collected eggs whil living five years in Australia with his parents.

He began carving the ivories in his thirties, and birds were still a focus. Sweet Nectar, a humming bird and orchid combination, carved from sperm whale tooth and buffalo horn, placed him among thirty artists picked to represent BC in Expo 86.

At age thirty four Wayne left forestry and became a full time artist. Using his pension to purchase an 8 1/2 ft. elephant tusk, he carved his largest masterpiece, Cachalot, which was displayed in 1988 at The Victoria Art Gallery in The Profiles of a Heritage Art Show. A four year creation, Cachalot depicts a sperm whale and four squid in combat. It also images explosive harpoons used to harvest whales. The material it is made of, will always make Cachalot a political piece.

Presently Wayne lives in a beautiful magenta floathouse (another one of his creations) with his wife Catherine. Working primarily in woolly mammoth and fossilised ivories, Wayne says his lifestyle is his art, and that he squeezes his carving in. Over 2800 of his pieces have found homes in BC, and his work is purchased locally and worldwide.

Taking a trip to visit Wayne and his dwelling named “The Bower”, would be well worth it. One thing you can be sure of with Wayne… he’s a man who will always be creating.


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