Saying that Cody Mathias comes from a large family is an understatement. The Northwest Coast Native art master carver has 17 siblings (he was born in 1962 as the 5th boy). As a young child, Cody would watch his father and grandfather for hours as they worked on 20 foot totem poles. Eventually, his father, grandfather and an older brother taught Cody to carve.
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Cody claims that when he looks at a piece of wood, it talks to him. "I put some thought into a piece to bring out the character of it" he says. "Sometimes it's an eagle, sometimes it's a killer whale and sometimes it's something else."
Today, Cody is one of the few contemporary Northwest Coast Native artisans who prefer to carve in the traditional style where the surface carves are left intact rather than smoothly sanded down. The bumpy appearance gives his carvings a very unique look, much like the older totem poles found in the west coast of Canada.
In addition to doing his own artwork, Cody also teaches carving to the younger generation from his Squamish Nation community in North Vancouver. He taught carving to his nephew Charles August, who is now also an accomplished Northwest Coast Native art carver. Cody's own artwork has changed over the years as he says, "My artwork has more shape and cleaner cuts these days.
Cody's residence is often the place where other carvers including his cousin, master carver Gary 'Boo Boo' Baker, meet to carve for the day. Cody hopes that more people will look at Northwest Coast Native art in the future. With more tourists visiting Vancouver and Canada, this striking style of Canadian aboriginal art will become more known than ever before.
Cody's artwork is featured in the Northwest Indian Art Carvings video. Northwest Coast Native artists like Cody Mathias and others are producing some stunning artwork these days. Imagine such a piece being displayed in your home. See Northwest Coast Native art carvings or Northwest Coast Native art prints at very affordable online prices at Free Spirit Gallery.
Cody is also able to do custom pieces on special commission. He can do carvings with either a traditional or smooth finish.
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