Out of the Woods

Woodworkers along the Salish Sea

By (author): Pirjo Raits
Photographs by: Dale Roth, Michele Ramberg
ISBN 9781772032604
Softcover | Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Book Dimensions: 11 in x 8.5 in
224 Pages

About the Book

A breathtaking art book profiling twenty-six wood carvers, sculptors, and artisans who draw inspiration from the natural beauty of the Salish Sea.

It could be a pile of driftwood on a rock-strewn beach resembling the bleached bones of some ancient creature. It could be the old growth of the lush coastal rain forests, or the winds that blow across the water like a life-affirming force. The Salish Sea inspires artists working in many mediums, but there is no greater representation of the symbiotic relationship between natural environment and creative energy than woodworking.

Out of the Woods profiles twenty-six dynamic artists who use wood to create an amazing range of work. Among them is Pheobe Dunbar, a carver who searches for hidden treasures among logging waste to create one-of-a-kind bowls and vessels. Charles Elliott, a member of the T’sartlip First Nation, is a world-renowned carver and tireless advocate for Coast Salish art. Mike Randall is a west coast modernist who creates furniture and lighting that is minimal in size but large on impact. Carey Newman, Kwakwaka’wakw master carver, mentored by the late Bill Reid, takes a contemporary yet traditional approach to his work.

Although they have diverse backgrounds and practices, these woodworkers place importance on sustainability, preservation of wild places, and respect for natural materials. Featuring exquisite photography of the artists in their studios, and full-colour images of their works, Out of the Woods is a stunning display of skill, creativity, and the depth of artistic talent along the Salish Sea.

About the Author(s)

Pirjo Raits is an award-winning, editor, journalist, and freelance writer, whose work has appeared in Soar, Boulevard, and Tweed magazines as well as several Black Press publications. She has won numerous national and provincial newspaper awards for her stories and photographs. Raits was editor of the Sooke News Mirror for ten years, before retiring in 2015.


"It is a true gift to be able to move from a two-dimensional world into a three-dimensional world and see what is waiting to be released from a material as organic as wood. An idea, combined with a sense of design and an ability to work with light and shade and rhythm, as the carvers on these pages display, shows amazing versatility that goes miles beyond craftsmanship. It is indeed a pleasure to go for a walk within these woods." —Robert Bateman
"Out of the Woods is a treat to the eyes and hearts of west coasters."—Grahame Ware, Ormsby Review
“If you're looking to get a small yet intimate glimpse into what it's like to lead the life of a craftsperson, you'll want to read this book. The photography is first class and the text light and engaging. —Carl Duguay, Canadian Woodworking and Home Improvement