Postcards: Dugout Canoe, Book Illustrator, Chainsaw Artist

Postcards: Dugout Canoe, Book Illustrator, Chainsaw Artist

– [Male] The
following program is a   production of pioneer
public television.   – [Male voiceover] In this
episode of Post Cards:   – [Female] I think
for Chippewa County,   to be able to have the third
and fourth oldest canoes   in the state of Minnesota, is
beyond amazing in my opinion.   – People always come in
and say it’d be great   to do what you love
to do, and I would   look at them, why
do anything else?   – [female] If you
could bring something   out of somebody
that’s there already   to make them more confident,
I think it’s important.   (inspirational rock music)   – [Male voiceover] This program
on Pioneer Public Television   is funded by the Minnesota Arts
and Cultural Heritage fund.   With money from the
vote of the people   of Minnesota on
November 4, 2008.   Additional support
provided by Mark   and Margaret Jacob-Shulien
in honor of Shalom Hill Farm.   A non-profit rural
education retreat center   in a beautiful
prairie setting near   Windham in
southwestern Minnesota.   The Arrowwood Resort
and Conference Center.   Your ideal choice
for Minnesota resorts   offering luxury townhomes,
18 holes of golf,   Darling reflection spa, big
splash waterpark, and much more.   Alexandria, Minnesota,
a relaxing vacation   or a great location
for an event., easy to
get to, hard to leave.   (acoustic folk strings)   – [Female voice] We
actually have two,   so we’re the only historical
society in the state   that is fortunate to
have two dugout canoes.   That’s pretty cool.   Our Minnesota River
Canoe was found in 1982   by a couple of local people and   that is located out in
our Gippie log cabin,   That is the fourth oldest canoe   of the dugout canoes
within Minnesota right now.   And that canoe, as I mentioned,   came out of the Minnesota River.   And anything, I don’t know
that everybody realizes,   but anything that comes
out of the Minnesota River,   or any of the
rivers in Minnesota,   is property of the
state of Minnesota.   So when the guys removed that
canoe, they did not own it.   And so there was some
discussion back and forth   on what happens to
the canoe and our   organization was
fortunate enough   to be able to
bring it down here.   The Chippewa River
canoe was one,   and it’s the only
artifact our organization   has ever purchased, was
purchased on an auction   sale in 1985 and we spent
80 dollars for the canoe.   It may sound like
very little and a   lot of people have
said I’ll give you   80 dollars for the
canoe, although   for our organization
at that time,   that was a great deal of money.   What we call the
Chippewa River canoe,   is what we finally
refer to as Ole’s Canoe.   Ole Torgusson was a
Norwegian immigrant.   Came to the United States
in the 1850s, I believe.   And he came to Minnesota,
specifically to Chippewa county   in the mid to late 1860s.   When we received the
Chippewa River canoe,   we were told, and
our records show,   that Ole Torgusson made
this canoe in the 1930s.   Which was pretty cool and
that’s what our records show.   And we had no reason
to not believe   what the story was told to us.   About a year and a half ago,
Maritime Heritage Minnesota   contacted us and wanted
to radiocarbon date
our dugout canoe.   they knew about the
Minnesota river one   because that was on the
state archaeologist’s list,   but I mentioned to them that
we also had a second canoe.   And so they came in to
radiocarbon date it.   – [Male voiceover] We send our
samples over to Beta Analytic   in Florida, so we
don’t do it ourselves,   we just take the
samples and there’s   a special way you
have to do that too.   You basically drill a
quarter inch diameter hole   about a quarter
inch deep and don’t   save the shavings from that,
but then you drill a slightly   smaller diameter hole in
that existing hole and   you drill enough
shavings to basically   fill up the size of
a cup that an eraser   on a pencil sits in, so about
100 milligrams, I think.   – [female voiceover]
The two canoes in   the Chippewa county
Historical Society   are the third and fourth
oldest watercraft in the state.   In our report in our
project, we documented   the eight oldest
watercraft in the state.   There’s nothing older.   And that’s incredible,
for a group of artifacts.   The oldest one is the Lake
Minnetonka dugout canoe.   Then there was one that
was taken out of the   Big Swan lake in Meeker
County, it’s actually   housed in McCobb
county, but it was   taken out of Meeker County.   Then Ole’s Canoe is the third
oldest canoe in the state.   Then The Minnesota River dugout
canoe is the fourth oldest.   And then there’s
four more after that.   Ole’s canoe is over 500
years old, up yo maybe 450,   there’s a range of dates
with carbon dating.   You can’t get a specific
date, especially   these are considered
new artifacts,   if you have an artifact
that’s 40,000 years old,   you’ll get a better date on
that because there was no   nuclear bombs going off
or anything way back then,   it does help, and the
samples come out better.   There’s not a skew.   The Minnesota River one
is 350-400ish, in there.   So it’s pretty old too, that’s
a Mississippian culture.   That’s pretty impressive,
that one as well.   The reason artifacts are
preserved are many reasons.   And often it’s if they’re
covered up in mud.   A canoe in a lake or river will
survive if it’s covered up.   If the lake dries and
it comes uncovered,   it’s gonna start to deteriorate.   The best thing for a shipwreck,   be it canoe or a
big wreck, whatever,   is cold, fresh, deep water.   Now deep is relative, 20
feet can be deep enough   if no one bothers it.   The lakes and
rivers of Minnesota   are very cold even
in the summer.   So it’s very great
for preservation.   – Dugout canoes are mainly
built by prehistoric Indians   And by nature, it’s pre-history.   They don’t leave anything
behind that was written.   It was just their
cultural material   and this tells us, this
is important for that,   because it’s all we know about   the people that came
before us in Minnesota.   And in a sense, dugout
canoes were probably   the most technologically
complex thing   the aboriginal peoples
built back then.   And to me, that’s
very interesting.   A dugout canoe is constructed
by, what we think,   this is from North
Carolina, cause   there’s one picture
from the 1600s,   literally a lithograph,
of native americans   burning the inner bits out
of a fallen tree trunk.   They first they burned
the tree to get it down   because they don’t have
axes or anything like that.   They didn’t have
those kind of tools.   So they fell a
tree by burning it   and then carefully burn
the inside core out   of the tree trunk as
much as they could.   And burn that out to
get rid of that wood.   And then, as far as,
it depends on what   time of history
we’re talking about,   the older canoes in Minnesota,
including Ole’s canoe,   and the Minnesota
River dugout canoe   that’s also in Chippewa county,   those two were
then finely carved   out using chipped stone tools.   – [June] Right now,
it’s kind of exciting,   we’ve been working on
an exhibit that will   totally focus on our dugout
canoes inside my office building   we had a mural
commissioned last year.   – [Christopher] I
think knowing our past,   we’re better prepared
to know our future.   Know where to go from here.   I think our past is
interesting, as is.   You don’t need to
embellish it or anything,   you can just study it
and it’s good for that.   – [June] I think every
historical society   in the state and
in the country has   amazing treasures
within their collection.   I also think we all,
somewhat take for granted   what we have and we don’t
always realize what we have.   Until somebody comes in and
really points those things out.   I think, for Chippewa
county to be able   to have the third and
fourth oldest canoes   in the state of Minnesota,
and have the canoes   that are the most intact
and in the best condition,   is beyond amazing in my opinion.   – [male vocieover]
Visit   for more information
on Post Cards   and other Pioneer productions.   Pioneer on demand
has all of your   favorite productions
available to   watch online at your convenience   including past
episodes of Post Cards.   (upbeat folk acoustic guitar)   – [Scott] My name’s
Scott Hanson.   And I’m a woodcarver, I
mainly use the chainsaw   but I use all tools.   And they’re starting to call me   an artist and I think
that’s a real compliment.   My career progressed
in chainsaw carving   when I was here, I just
had a tree in my yard.   And I thought I’d try this.   And then I had a tree
in mom and dad’s yard,   A big elm tree that died.   So I thought I’d try it.   And I think the
great big elm tree   that was in mom and dad’s yard,   I spent weeks on it and I said   I’m never gonna
do this again and   then my best friend
said well I have a tree.   And people just kind
of kept me busy.   Where I seen a big
improvement pretty fast.   And then I went and visit
my sister in Alaska.   And I made her
something and then   both neighbors on each
side wanted something,   both neighbors on
each side of them   wanted something, pretty
soon the whole block   wanted something so
I knew I had a …   People wanted my, wanted
this kind of stuff.   Chainsaw art is, they
take a chainsaw to a tree   and they carve out
basically whatever they see   or it develops in what they see.   So it’s a fast
tool, because you’re   moving a lot of wood, fast.   This is what I do, take
the chainsaw, rough it out.   And then I got other tools that
I fine tune it a little bit.   And that’s pretty
much what I do.   And so so this is
where I started   and this is kind of
the finished product   when I’m all said and done.   So I probably, I
don’t know how much   time I have in that, but
I probably got another   hour left to get it
to this point here   with the tools that I have.   No, I didn’t go to
any school to this.   Pretty much
self-taught, but it was   kind of an answer
to my dad’s prayer.   I had a real bad
time in my life.   And then all of a sudden
I picked up a chainsaw   and then I got a
passion for this.   And then I can say self taught,   but I think it’s a little
bit of Lord taught.   Yeah, I’ve been in quite
a few competitions.   I done the world
championship ice carving.   I think five, six times.   And I placed second
a couple times.   And that’s the
world championship.   And then a lot of
chainsaw carvings.   I been to Chetwin and that’s the   chainsaw capital of the world.   I got second there and
then we have competitions   in like Sedovia, I
have a competition.   And then other competitions
that I’ve taken first   quite a few times.   My favorite thing to carve, I
get asked that question a lot.   It’s kind of the last
thing that I’ve done.   If you’d say my
favorite thing now   I enjoyed carving on
this mermaid over here.   So I’d say it’s one
of my favorite ones   until I start something else.   When I came here, kind
of searching again.   I kinda hit a
crossroads where there’s   a point where almost
all carvers come   that you gotta pursue the art
or you gotta pursue the money.   And I was sick of
chasing after the money.   You know, where you’re
always doing something   for somebody else and
you’re putting a price.   So I kinda came back to my
place here, to my own roots.   And then kind of pursued my art.   And not about the
money, so now it’s about   the passion to do
what I wanna do   instead of where you’re
always commissioned   to do something
or this and this.   Where this is more
of my products of   what I feel like I wanna do.   People always come in
and say it’d be great   to do what you love to do
and I would look at them   why do anything else?   I’ve been kind of hidden away
in my brother’s chicken barn   where not too many
people follow me.   And kinda got to pursue
my art here where …   And it’s kinda catapulting
me to a different mindset.   Where I’m not, before
if a chainsaw carver   like, you know, whip it out,
and get it done, and sell it.   I’ve gotten to where
I’m taking more time   and actually enjoying
what I’m doing   instead of, you know,
hurry up and get   it done and get
another one done.   Kinda get off that
treadmill kind of thing.   Well I got a six
animal carousel.   And it’s a moose, a
caribou, a fish, a bear,   a walrus, a sheep, a doll sheep.   And when I did this, I
just looked at the heads   and I thought, I
wonder if anybody   would ever buy a wooden head?   And it wasn’t a
couple years later,   a woman come and says, I
got a set of moose horns,   would you put these moose
horns on a wooden head?   So a woman came
up with this idea.   And I heard this in
my shop, every day.   Every day I hear
this, they go honey,   I’ll let you hang
that in my house   because they don’t
see a hairy, scary,   or dirty, or something
that’s a dead animal.   They see it more as an art.   And then the guys get
kind of what they want.   Cause they get their horns.   Cause that’s a trophy to them,   but a woman doesn’t
see a dead animal,   they see a piece of art.   So there’s where I see
I’m kinda going with this.   Is where I like
to pursue the art.   Where people can kinda,
well they get a piece of art   instead of a, and nothing wrong
with the mounts or anything,   I’m not criticizing
them or anything,   this is just another thing
that could increase in value   over the years instead
of where it decreases   and falls apart and then they
gotta get it fixed, so …   I can just start carving
a simple little tree   because it’s basically
when I teach or   when I also take an apprentice,   all your fundamentals
are in this, you gotta   learn how to use the saw.   Pretty much if you don’t
know how to use the tool,   it doesn’t do you any
good, so it’s just   practicing with the tool.   And this simple little
tree that I make   is all your fundamentals.   It’s kinda like basketball,
you gotta learn how to dribble,   you know, shoot, the
fundamentals of basketball   will help you be a
better basketball player.   Well this is all the
fundamentals of what you need,   how you need to use the tool
and how you learn the tool.   Cause you get the instruction
from the chainsaw,   you know, what you’re not to do.   I do everything that you’re
not to do with a chainsaw.   You use the tip,
you’re using pretty   much everything they
tell you not to do, I do.   So that would be another
good place to start I guess.   Well this is just
the fundamentals of
chainsaw carving.   And this is all the things
that you need to know.   You need to know
how to undercut,   you need to know
how to roll your saw   where you can put pine
needles and that’s   also your fur, your feathers,
whatever else you do.   And it’s also getting
used to the tool.   So this is the
fundamentals of your   chainsaw carving right here.   Where has chainsaw
taken me in my life?   I thought I’d never leave here.   I thought I’d be
farming all my life.   And it’s taken me to
Alaska, taken me to Boston.   I got to do Boston at the
International Seafood Convention   to do an ice bar,
I mean I’ve got   to travel with this,
I’ve been to Hawaii.   Basically it opened up
the doors to travel.   because pretty much
I can go anywhere   and just start carving
whatever’s in the area.   And people kind of like it.   So it’s been, it’s taken
me on an adventure.   And I think that, I
mean that’s exciting   and, you know, a lot of
times, people get stuck,   you know, sometimes in life,
because we are on an adventure.   And this carving is just a
tool that I get to travel.   And that kind of, I mean, I
never wanted to go anywhere,   now I wanna go everywhere, it’s
kinda weird how that works.   (chainsaw)   – [male voiceover]
Do you use Facebook,   Twitter, or other social media?   Connect with us to
get immediate access   to behind-the-scenes
videos, previews,   and other Post Cards
and Pioneer news.   (slow piano music)   – [Faith] My name
is Faith Mills,   I’m a graphic artist
from Glenwood, Minnesota.   I do pencil, ink wash, which
are both black and white.   And then I do
watercolor, pastels.   Pastels or soft pastels, it’s
like a chalk, and acrylic.   I think, probably, my favorite   medium is soft pastels
because they’re forgiving.   If you make a mistake,
you can go over it.   Once you do watercolor,
whatever is there is there.   But pastels are very forgiving.   I always work this
way so my hands don’t,   if you’re left handed,
you go this way,   but I’m right handed, so
I’m gonna go this way.   So I’m gonna make a
neutral background,   so what I’m gonna do is
just fill out the back.   And this paper is sand paper.   It’s an archival sand
paper, it’s medium grade.   it really grabs the pastels
so, I use my fingers a lot.   By the time I get
done, I am a mess.   But, it’s a fun way of drawing.   It’s fun because you
can really get your   almost sculpting a little bit,   once you get the
pastel in there, I do
a lot with my fingers.   I just love Owen’s pouty
face, I love it, so serious.   (inspirational music)   In art school, we had
different projects.   And one of them, I think it
was called a cell painting.   But what you do is you take
a piece of clear plastic   and you’re painting
everything backwards,   so what ever you paint on
first is gonna be on the top.   What I did, was I drew
with a black marker,   a thin marker, the
highlights of what I would do   usually on top and then
afterwards, I painted over it.   And then you put
a background on it   and you put that whole picture
on top of that background   and it’s amazing, it’s
just totally backwards   of how you would
usually do a picture.   (seagulls calling)   The main place that I’ve done   a lot of my artwork
is in Mexico.   Where we have a small house,   there is just a picture
around every corner.   This is an acrylic
that I did and   one of the streets I
just love is this street.   And just happened to be the
chico, this guy right here,   was scooting his bike
down the street there.   That’s kind of a typical
scene in Tiacapan.   But I’ve also gone with
my girlfriends to Europe.   We went to Italy four years ago   and this year we went
to Spain and France.   I’ve done a lot of
artwork from my travels.   Especially in Italy,
I did a lot of Venice   and Chicotera, and such
a colorful country.   I would love to go to Greece.   My grandfather, when he
was eleven years old,   came from Greece to Ellis Island   and from Ellis Island,
he got on a train   with a sign on his
shirt that said Omaha.   he spoke no English,
and he had to get   to where his brother
was in Omaha.   And that is why I would
like to go to Greece,   and also it’s a
beautiful country.   It would be cool
to be a teacher.   I mean I’ve taught
a few classes.   If you could bring
something out of somebody   that’s there
already, to make them   more confident, or
believe in themselves,   I think it’s important.   Art has always been
a part of my life,   but I didn’t realize how
much fun it could be until   I went back to
school and learned   about all the different mediums.   And even to this day, I
am learning new things.   Every day I feel
like I get better.   I think more practice,
anybody can get better.   By being better, it
makes it more fun.   If anyone wants to
really get into art,   or they have the love for
art, I would encourage   them to just start practicing,   work in whatever you like doing.   And then try different things.   Because you might find
something that you   didn’t realize you
were really good at.   But practice, makes perfect.   – [male voiceover]
Visit   for more information
on Post Cards   and other Pioneer productions.   – [Male voiceover
2] This program on   Pioneer Public
Television is funded by   the Minnesota Arts and
Cultural Heritage Fund.   With money from the vote
of the people of Minnesota   on November 4th, 2008.   Additional support
provided by Mark   and Margaret
Jacob-Julien in honor   of Shalom Hill
Farm, a non-profit   rural education retreat center   in a beautiful prairie
setting near Windham   in southwestern Minnesota,   The Arrowwod Resort
and Conference Center.   Your ideal choice for
Minnesota resorts,   offering luxury townhomes,
18 holes of golf,   Darling Reflections Spa, Big
Splash waterpark, and much more.   Alexandria, Minnesota,
a relaxing vacation,   or great location for an event., easy to
get to, hard to leave.   (inspirational rock music)  

One thought on “Postcards: Dugout Canoe, Book Illustrator, Chainsaw Artist

  • January 20, 2016 at 5:40 am

    Truly amazing man .


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