The story for this piece is all true, nothing has been made up, it just turned out this way!
When I completed the last piece, I took my usual couple of days off. I had put a couple of pieces of stone on my bench just to look at whenever I came out to the shop. It just so happened that a good friend of mine, Kenny, had a friend of his come to town for a few weeks to learn about gardening. On the weekend before I started carving, the Mi’Kmaq First Nations was having a Powwow in St. Georges (and that is where I get my stone to work). So Kenny decided to stop and pick up a few pieces for me.
When he came back into town he stopped by with the pieces, Allison wasn’t with him but he told me which piece she picked out. I thanked him and he went on his way. That evening I set out two of the smallest pieces and placed them on my bench. Over the next couple of days, I had looked at them enough to be able to see something in each one. So the next day I began grinding. So I had been working with it for a few days when one evening Kenny dropped by to see if I had started anything.
As he was looking over what I had completed so far, he told me that this piece of stone is the only one that Allison picked out that day they were in St. Georges. We got to talking and I told him that the story to this piece was going to be a grouchy old woman that didn’t like kids, so when she was mean to them, they would get back at her by giving her lice (or a softer word - cooties).
Kenny went for another few days before dropping in again - and was laughing as he walked in. I asked him what was so funny - and he told me that a few days ago he had dropped Allison off at the ferry, as she was heading back to the mainland. When she got off the ferry on the other side, she was picked up by a bus with a group of teenagers on a cross-Canada youth tour (which she had organized before she left the island). This being a few days into the tour, there was a concern that one of the kids had picked up - cooties - along the way.
Well, I began laughing and of course, we made a few jokes! So I told him that this would have to become the story to this piece because of the coincidences. He said the the hair in the piece was even like hers, long and wavy. So, this is all completely true - but the good thing is that so far none of the kids have actually attracted any cooties to date!—Michael Massie
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Massie’s work is a reflection of his mixed Inuit, Métis and Scottish heritage. In it, he investigates both traditional and contemporary themes. He has achieved renown for his innovative teapots that combine themes and symbols from his native Inuit culture with European traditions. Massie has been twice short-listed for the coveted Prix Saidye Bronfman and has an extensive international reputation. His work has been shown in North America and Europe, including the National Gallery of Canada. He was elected a member of Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2011.
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