Anyone who knows me knows that I have an appreciation for cetacians, or marine mammals. I have kayaked with dolphins at the NC coast, with manatees at the Florida Gulf coast, with humpback whales in Alaska, with Orcas, or Killer Whales in British Columbia; I have traveled to Baja, Mexico to see the Gray Whales in Magdelena Bay, and to snorkel with sea lions in the Sea of Cortez, and I traveled to the South Pacific Island Kingdom of Tonga in September 2011 to snorkel and swim with Humpback whales there. So, upon getting a great deal on a scroll saw, some of the first projects I attempted were whales.
The Orca was based on drawings and carvings I saw in British Columbia, especially in Alert Bay, the home to many First Nation families. Their totem poles, ceremonies, artwork and overall way of life was fascinating to me on my trip to North Vancouver Island. This cutout of an Orca in plywood became a gift to a good friend I met in Tonga while whale watching. Simone Rigoni was also visiting Tonga from Australia, where he had been living for about a year. He is from Italy, and just before leaving Australia for Italy, he blew his knee out playing basketball. It was a torn ACL, and he has since had surgery. He is also passionate about whales and dolphins, so I sent this to him as a “Get Well” token.
The Humpback Whale scroll saw project is also cut from plywood, and represents a depiction of a whale based on the Maori tradition and artwork, which is a major part of New Zealand heritage.