Bruce Alfred

Bruce Alfred
Namgis, Carver and Bentwood Box Maker

Bruce’s works are like the man himself, slowly and carefully thought out and then, once they are revealed, extremely well expressed.   His pieces, which are most commonly bentwood boxes, are true works of art and demonstrate an expert at his craft.   The steamed bends are always exactly 90 degrees, the carved lines flawless, his forms exactly as they should be for the deity depicted, and his painting of the works is acclaimed by peers. There are few craftsmen in this world as good as Bruce at creating a bentwood box masterpiece.

Bruce is Kwakwaka'wakw from Alert Bay, Canada, a small island on the northwestern end of Vancouver Island.  He was taught by the legendary Northwest Coast artist Doug Cranmer.  Bruce has worked alongside such renowned artists as Beau Dick, Wayne Alfred, and his brother Harold. Totem Poles make up another major portion of his carving career, to include assisting on works in Vancouver B.C., Australia (for the Olympic Games), and Alert Bay.

Bruce is now at a point where not only are his works highly prized, but his knowledge and understanding about the craft, the deep cultural aspects of Northwest Coast works, and the art history of his own people is also in great demand.   He has been consulted about the artworks and their origins in both Canada and United States, and from private collectors, museums, and galleries.   

Much of Bruce’s life beyond art is dedicated to supporting his family and clan and also the teaching of the young. Not only does he mentor upcoming artists of his tradition, but also he is also a youth sports coach, and works for the school district in the classroom when needed or as a school bus driver.   

Raven Makes Gallery is honored to offer a few precious pieces from this talented and kind individual.

 Bentwood Canoe Box, Frog