Posted on January 27, 2012



Over my past thirty-plus years of “Singing the Song,” I have had the good fortune to share my song with many fine people who have taken an interest in my work that has been my life. It has been quite an honor and a rewarding experience to teach them the fine art of using the crooked knife (mocotaugan) in creating a variety of traditional items including birch bark canoes, paddles, snowshoes and baskets.

The crooked knife can be a very challenging tool to master. To make this fine carving instrument work smoothly is by far no easy task. Many intimate hours are spent working on and developing the necessary strength to use this too efficiently. Once mastered though, the Song of the Crooked Knife can clearly be heard and it is a real joy to see and hear the shavings come flying of the blade with each powerful, slicing stroke of the mocotaugan’s steel across wood.

Crooked Knife, The carving tool, Mocotaugan

Adirondack Museum, Blue Mountain Lake New York, 1991: This canoe was built with a single sheet of birch bark.

Teaching Drum Outdoor School, Three Lakes, Wisconsin, May 27 – June 11, 1992: Three individual birch bark canoes were built on the shore of this wilderness lake.

Personal Instruction, Apprentice: This fine solo canoe was built using only a single sheet of birch bark at my canoe camp in Winchester, Wisconsin in 1993

Old-Style canoe built at the Waswagoning Ojibwe Village, Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin, 1995

Sixteen days at Statehouse Lake, North Lakeland Discovery Center, 1998: 22 ft. Fur-Trade Canoe

Launching and paddling the ‘Big Canoe’

Otter’s Canoe, Personal Instruction, Apprentice: Built at my canoe camp in 2009.

2010: Otter paddling “Nigig” on Pickerel Lake, Quetico Wilderness, Ontario, Canada

My crooked knife does all the work, “Come dance with me”

Beaver’s Song


Posted in: WORKSHOPS