With capital funding secured and grant money in motion, the Wrangell Cooperative Association is gearing up to begin the first stages of the Chief Shakes Tribal House renovation. This past week architect Vlad Irimisu was in Wrangell to finalize timber cuts for the project and discuss the next stages of design with the WCA. WCA President John Martin says the next step is to begin training carvers for the adzing process.

“This is a moment of excitement for us, we’ve had a series of them, and this is just another large step but when we have carvers on the island, carvers in the shed, and chips flying we will know were headed to the island and that’s exciting,” He says.

On August 5th Master Carver Wayne Price from Haines, will begin preparing for the Adzing classes and making sure they are equipped with all of the necessary tools and materials. Along with Price, fellow Master Carver Steve Brown will be conducting the classes. Students will be taught how to make traditional adzing tools, followed by step by step training on how to do traditional adzing work. Martin says the ultimate goal is to develop local carvers in Wrangell.

“The ultimate goal is that we can find at least two committed apprentices to work with us on Chief Shakes Island. And the situation is we will have two master carvers, two intermediate carvers, and two local apprentice carvers. We want those carvers to be working right on site with them on a regular basis and be able to receive instruction,” He says.

Adzing classes will be held Friday, August 12th through Sunday August 14th. Martin says classes will have 6-8 students, and additional classes will be added if need be. Classes cost $25 per student, and Martin says some scholarships are available. To register visit the Tribal Office downtown or call 907- 874-4304.
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