“This sculpture is a kayaker returning home after catching a seal. This carving was a real challenge for me because it is so small in scale. It was perfect for the Mini-Masterworks exhibition except I had so many problems carving it and so it was too late for the catalogue. I broke four or five harpoons. The hard part was drilling a hole through the harpoon head to thread the sinew rope. In fact threading the sinew though all the tiny holes around the kayak was incredibly difficult. I am proud of the detailing that I achieved on his face, the mittens, the folds in the clothing, the creases in the sleeves, and on the face and flippers of the seal. I used mastoden ivory on the seal as it was a different aged ivory colour to the other ivory. You will need a magnifying-glass to see all the detailing. I carved the whole piece with my naked eye and with no use of a vice. As you can imagine holding a small seal with your fingers and carving it takes a steady hand and a good eye. I hope I can retain good eyesight and a steady hand for many years to come!!!!”—Billy Gauthier
Billy was born on July 7, 1978, in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. In his early years he travelled eastern Canada residing and schooling in Ottawa, Yarmouth and Halifax in Nova Scotia, then at the age of thirteen returned to live in Goose Bay. He now lives in North West River in Labrador and enjoys fishing and hunting on the land with his family.
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