IN THE COMMUNITY’
Autumn the Pembroke based community arts group ‘Sand Palace
Arts’ approached ‘Greenlinks’ to work in partnership
on a project with ‘youths at risk of dissaffection’
at Pembroke Secondary School.
Local woodcarver Robert Jakes worked with a group of eight students,
first looking at images of traditional carved Totem Poles and
discussing the importance of these carvings for the local community.
Robert sourced the Douglas Fir trunk from the Pembrokeshire Coast
National Park’s sawmill at Cilrhedyn, where it was sawn
in half lengthwise to give two similar 16 foot poles to carve.
group worked on initial ideas and designs depicting imagery that
was important to them, the images to be carved were, an Owl, a
lurcher, a football trainer kicking a football and a breaker and
on the other pole, shield with a phoenix, a shield with the devil
and a boat, the face of a Black Panther and an ipod.
the initial drawings they went on to model in clay their preferred
from these sculptural ideas they started work on the timber, deciding
where the images were to go and marking out the designs with chalk.
the end of each day, the larger areas were marked out for removal
with the aid of the chainsaw prior to the next carving session.
with Mr Owen, a Technology teacher at the school, we incorporated
a solar panel on the top of each pole, this connected to a movement
sensor, which would light up a set of led bulbs in the eyes of
the Owl and the Black Panther, in the same way a security light
sanded, highlighted with woodstain,
coated the poles with Linseed Oil
gathered together on the last day of the school term before Christmas
to raise the Totem Poles and bolt them in their temporary positions
at the ‘Greenlinks’ building, as we left that evening
the eyes of the Panther lit up.
work is going on to create the new ‘skills centre’
at the school, where the Poles will eventually be installed on
the new entrance gates.
project was funded by the Social Risk Fund and administered by
- Pembroke based community arts group
reading, two inspiring books;
‘Totem Poles of the Pacific Northwest Coast’ by Edward
‘Totem Pole’ Carving by Vickie Jensen
National Trust Stackpole Estate has offered a huge Fir trunk to
be carved with imagery relating to the estate, it’s history
and rich natural diversity. Robert is very keen to work with a
team of wood carvers to create a Stackpole Totem Pole, sponsorship
is being sought for this project.