Haida Artist and Sculptor
NW-ACE & A-ACE Graduate
Laurence Knowles is a talented artist and entrepreneur from Haida Gwaii that specializes in stone and public art sculptures. From a young age, Laurence was working in a variety of industries including fishing, trapping, mining, and logging. It wasn’t until later in life, Knowles started his career as a carver and stone sculptor. Laurence began carving at Kasan and the carving shed in Prince Rupert. He learned primarily through trial and error while working with harder stones, like granite and basalt, and then slowly refined his craft.
While he was working in the shed, he carved and sculpted alongside many talented artists including, Lyle Campbell, Marcel Russ, Henry Green, and Ron Talec. Laurence expressed the carving shed was a “dynamic, creative center of artistic talent” and offered a great way to collaborate with other talented carvers. He also explained each of the carvers he worked with during his time in the carving shed had an influence on his work.
Laurence was forced to take time off of carving when he suffered from a loss of eyesight. During his break, Laurence worked in Northern Alberta until he was able to get eye surgery. Once he received surgery on both eyes, Laurence began carving again. Since he was still recovering and his eyesight had not fully come back yet, he relied on his sense of feeling more than sight to carve. He expresses he was “carving more or less blind”. Laurence also explained he could hear the perfect cut while he is carving and understands how the hard rocks want to be carved without even being able to see it.