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DeAnn R. Cote

I was born and raised in Washington State, am married and have a daughter, a step son, and two grandchildren. I have had a knack for making things from as far back as I can remember. In fact, in grade school, I often found myself in trouble for making dolls out of paper clips and popsicle sticks instead of doing my schoolwork.  It’s funny how child hood interests can reinvent themselves in adulthood.

When I was in my early twenties I went to work for a large jewelry manufacturing company where I 'carved', as it were, the detail in precious metals on rings, pins, pendants and the like.  It is there that I learned how to use both power tools with tiny cutting and engraving burs as well as hand engraving tools for 'bright cuts' in the metal.  After starting my own business in the mid '80s, carving soon became my main interest.  The experience of watching a creation develop from a medium is exceptional.  I have had no schooling in the art of carving; it has been a hand’s on experience, learning by trial and error.  At the start, I carved all varieties of rock from beach jade to emeralds and rubies ranging in sizes from very small to some fairly large carvings that were all chiseled in my back yard (driving my poor neighbors crazy...)  I eventually had to quite carving rock due to breathing in it's toxic properties.  Now my carving mediums are Fossil Ivory, and Hardwoods.  

In the beginning the majority of my carvings were animals, and my interests were in Native American, Egyptian, and Mayan art forms, but soon my childhood love of creating little movable people came back to me.  Wood antiques have also been one of my passions, so the old wooden's like German pegs, and the elegant European peg wooden's sparked a special interest in me.   Incorporating those antique doll styles into my creations,  I soon found my own style.    One of my favorite pieces is an articulately jointed 1800's European style peg, carved form Fossil Walrus and Hippo Ivory. She's fairly small, about 3 to 4 inches tall, and is so elegant and life like in her movements. I love the feel and look of fossil ivory, so warm and buttery smooth.  Since many of my ivory carvings are small part of the unique style I have developed is that they can be worn as jewelry. 

Most of my carvings are my own unique work but I do enjoy and have done some replication. A constant has been replicating, so-to-speak, an antique American wood doll of which I have carved 100s over the last 10 years.  In the mid 90s I was invited to participate in the "Mount Vernon in Miniature Project" and replicated, in 1 inch to the foot scale, the busts and relief in the Historic Mount Vernon study. It was an honor and a memorable experience to participate in that project, and a rewarding challenge of true "replication".    

I do take pride in creating my own individual works of art, but I believe I am only the vehicle.  They really create themselves, evolving from the medium as if they were waiting to be born.  It's just a privilege to be a participant.

Artist,

DeAnn R. Cote



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Last update 5/18/12

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