For every piece of wood, a carver

This past July, Botswana’s Department of Non-Formal Education ask me to train ten San wood carvers from Kacgae village, in the western Kalahari, and five beginners from Charles Hill and Ghanzi town. The learners arrived as a group at the Botswana’s Out of School Education Training campus in Maun, site of a gleaming glass and metal building surrounded by, as luck would have it, mopane woodland.

Share
Nature’s opportunity

In September 2018 Botswana’s Ministry of Education, the Department of Non Formal Education invited me to New Xade in the Central Kalahari to run a workshop for San carvers. I met with the participants - 17 men and women - at the local school.

Share
The essence of an elephant

Creating sculpture is my first love, but since coming to Botswana, I’ve developed another: working side by side with local artists to explore the messages and images embedded in the tree limbs and roots left behind by both nature and people.

Share
Treasuring nature’s textures

Creating a unique wood sculpture means working in harmony with the materials nature has provided. You have to pay attention to the way a tree has grown

Share
Tools of the trade

Every woodworker has a most-loved tool. Mine is a small adze, in the Botswana language Setswana, called a petlwana. I use it when I first find an old piece of

Share
Working with the grain

While my first love is Mopane, sometimes a piece of wood from another tree offers itself irresistibly to the sculpting process. Last month, Maun friends Desiree and Pierre Sharp pointed out

Share