The artistic collaboration of partners Robert Barratt and Todd Wells, called Twin Spirits Carving, is only 8 years old but was born out of similar backgrounds and passions. Their respect and love for the natural environment of the Northwest coast comes from their younger years immersed in that world. For Todd, it was summers spent growing up on and around Cameron Lake on Vancouver Island, BC. For Robert, it was growing up as a kid in the woods surrounding Kitimat, BC.
As adults, they both found themselves drawn to the artistic expressions of the Pacific Northwest coastal world in native formline design. That interest led each of them to learn carving in the traditional manner, by working with more experienced First Nations carvers. Todd’s introduction to carving was through a group of carvers from the Musqueam band. Robert apprenticed with Nisga’a master carver Norman Tait and his partner Lucinda Turner. He has also worked regularly with Tlingit master carver Israel Shotridge, carving totem poles in Alaska and Washington State. Carving together with the Klee Wyck carving group in West Vancouver, BC, where Robert was teaching carving, led almost inevitably to their unique and productive artistic partnership.
Since this collaboration began, Robert and Todd have been diligently carving not only a range of door possibilities, but also a number and variety of smaller art works — grace notes, if you will, for inside the homes behind the doors.