August 15, 2016

Roth and Ramberg and the carvers of Nain


Day 5: Nain

Posted by Terri

Upon the promise of early morning sunshine, Dale and Michele were up and on top of a mountain at 4:45am, like champions. Turns out it was a really good idea. The sunrise didn’t disappoint.

After a hearty breakfast we were joined by Isabella, our host in Nain, and set off to photograph some amazing carvers. (Just after a quick shopping excursion into the craft shop, of course.)

First up was John. The stone carver, jewelry maker, and painter was already hard at work, even though he says he’s retired. As we sat in the warm morning sun, with Mt. Sophie reigning supreme on the other side of the harbour, he told us that he gets his exceptional stone from a secret spot. He did not, however, tell us where that was.

Next we met Gilbert, known throughout the world for his beautiful carvings. It’s so popular, he can’t keep it in stock. 

He showed us the giant slab of Labradorite next to his house. He called it Blue Eyes on account of the glistening blue flecks of colour throughout. With a little bit of water, the colour popped out of the stone, the sun making it even more magical.

Gilbert told us about all of the moral support he has received, especially from his wife of 38 years, Sue, and how his children are his pride and joy. It also happened to be his 65th birthday (Happy Birthday Gilbert!).

Last but certainly not least, we visited Isabella’s Uncle Johnny in his wood shed. At 86 years old, his imagination is alive and well, and ever present in his hand crafted boats, fish, dogs, and ookpiks, among many other brightly painted animals and characters.

Three incredible carvers (and characters) later, we were off to the airport to catch the long flight back down the coast to Goose Bay, saying good bye to Isabella, Nain, and the rest of Nunatsiavut (for now). Tomorrow we’d be heading South, all the while hoping the light would chase us. 

Thanks to Isabella for taking such great care of us, Air Labrador agents Crystal and Amanda for helping with the bags, and our pilots Ben and Kevin for taking us back down the Coast.