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Crescent Moon

For years, I’ve had an idea of making a moon design that was out of the ordinary. Something popped into my head recently: what about a crescent moon?

I had this thought while trying to come up with ideas for argillite carvings. I thought it would look good all black or I could make the crescent a lighter color. It was an interesting idea so I came up with a very rough, really quick sketch (see picture at the bottom).

I decided just to create my vector graphic using my sketch as a visual reference. Instead of scanning the sketch into my computer and building my graphic design on top of it, I just kept my sketchbook open in front of me. I have a small Moleskine sketchbook, it’s 3.5″ x 5″ and I like it because it’s a softcover which makes it easy to open and scan. I also like the small size as I do tend to sketch very small drawings. I find it easier to keep things in proportion when I’m sketching, I tend to lose sight of proportions when I’m drawing on a large surface. Also, since it’s so small, I can keep it right on my desk in front of me and start sketching immediately instead of having it packed away somewhere and having to dig it out.

Since this was going to be a very small carving about 1.5″ wide, I didn’t want to pack a lot of detail into it as that would make it very difficult to carve. I wanted to keep things simple so that meant making heavy formlines and not filling in every space as I normally would. I’ve only made one argillite carving in my life and even with a simple design it was hard for me to do the details. I don’t want to make things any harder on myself than they already are.

This resulted in a sparse arrangement, less complex than the designs I regularly make. In the sketch, you can see that I wrote on it, indicating that the left side would be lower than the right side. There are directions for carving, telling myself to keep in mind that there would be different thicknesses in the argillite. Ultimately, I believe I’ll make it all the same thickness when I carve it.

On my computer, I started creating a vector graphic outline and as I neared completion, I started to wonder what it would look like as a finished design. I did a little redesigning and started adding effects and before I knew it, I had a much more complicated piece. I like the way it came out and when I go to carve it, I’ll be simplifying it to make it easier to carve.

When I eventually get the large-format printer that I want, this will probably be one of my first prints. You can see pictures below.

Original rough sketch, about 1.5″ wide.
The final design.

The Black Canoe Soundtrack: Song One

One of the biggest challenges in creating the video for The Black Canoe was the recording of the music.

The first and last song you hear in the video is called Fireweeds In August. Originally recorded under a different name, I changed the name and made it the unofficial Eagle Down Studios theme song.

I chose the title because of the calm, serene feeling that the music brought to my mind. It made me think of fireweeds, which grow around Kitimat and look similar to foxgloves. They have long green stocks and pink or purple flowers that, after blooming, sprout fluffy white seeds like dandelions do. This usually occurs around the end of summer, in August. They are known in the Kitlope as the “snowflakes of ghosts.”

Fireweeds have significance in other cultures as well. The Gitxsan, one of our closest neighbors, have a Fireweed clan.

To record this song, I used an electric Telecaster copy that I built myself and played it through an acoustic preamp. I ran it directly into a digital 8-track recorder without effects and I did fingerpicking throughout the entire song.