Darrell Dugan, 91, is a master woodcarver and has been sharing his love of the craft with others since 1942.
At that time, Dugan was living in India, where he admired the skill and work of woodcarvers there creating beautiful objects with the most primitive of tools. He began to learn from these people, and when his mother sent him a small set of carving tools, which he still uses today, he threw himself into his creative calling.
Dugan teaches a woodcarving class at Eatonville Community Center every Tuesday from 12 to 3 p.m., and anyone interested in learning more about this art is invited to attend. No reservation is necessary. The class is open to all ages and levels of ability and costs only $1 a month, plus materials.
Dugan has always enjoyed teaching carving, having done so for 30 years in the Tacoma public schools’ after-school programs and, more recently, at senior centers.
When asked why he enjoys carving and thinks others will too, he says, â€œPeople need to know how relaxing it can be and how enjoyable it is to realize what you can do with a simple piece of wood. From that wood will come so many different things â€“ maybe a bear or deer or elk, or maybe a whimsical figurine, or maybe a Christmas ornament. Sometimes you can even tell by looking at the piece of wood what figure is waiting to be revealed. There are endless possibilities, and it is something anyone can do.â€
Dugan and examples of his work were featured at the Pierce County Library’s Eatonvlle branch on May 24 as part of the Eatonville Lions Club’s Art and Wine Walk.
Lori Culver, who wrote this article, is a former executive director of Eatonville Family Agency.
Reprinted from The Dispatch.