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Groote artists produced beautiful carvings after being trained in the use of new specialist tools.

The workshop was staged by artist Hape Kiddle as part of the Wood Carving Program at the Men’s Art space.

The aim of the series of workshops is to provide training for new and old artists, who can then pass on both new and old knowledge of carvings, tools and materials to strengthen men’s art in the Groote archipelago for generations to come.

The Wood Carving Program is made up six levels of skill and knowledge, ranging from introduction to carving to finishing major carving projects.

Up to 10 men from Groote and Bickerton Island took part in the workshop.

Hape began by showing the men how to sharpen and maintain the carving tools and the function of each tool.

He then showed them how to carve the handles for their own carving blades, a skill the men quickly learnt produced intricate carved handles.

The next stage was how to use more fine methods of carving from solid pieces of wood.

Hape demonstrated the skill by carving a Murray cod.

And the men learnt quickly and were soon carving their own beautiful and detailed fish.

During the second week of the workshop, the men were asked to produce their own carving to demonstrate what they learnt.

The men chose to carve everything from birds and dugongs to whales and dugout canoes.

The wood carving workshop was a success – the men learnt a lot and had a lot of fun learning.

They also built a good relationship with Hape, who is a skilled and versatile artist in his own right. Plans are underway for a second wood carving workshop in November, which will include time on Bickerton Island.