Self-taught, Scott Jensen began carving in 1972 and then teaching in 1974 when he was asked to teach carving in Craig, Alaska. He has continued his commitment to teaching at Olympic Park Institute, Northwest Indian College, North Cascades Institute, and Xá:ytem Longhouse Interpretive Center in British Columbia. He also mentors young carvers and holds classes once a year at his Bellingham, Washington studio.
Scott spent twelve years traveling and instructing aboard the M/V Snow Goose, M/V Yorktown Clipper, and the yacht Island Roamer in Southeast Alaska, British Columbia and Haida Gwaii.
Spanning many years, beginning in the late 1970’s, Scott was commissioned by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to create objects for the Whatcom Museum of History and Art for an educational program which continues to this day. The objects were a variety of utensils and tools used to illustrate how Peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast survived and thrived before contact. Among the items made were a transformation mask, carving tools, halibut hooks, cooking tongs, model totems, paintbrushes, a beaver tooth knife, a bentwood box model and finished box used for cooking, naaxein (Chilkat) pattern board, and a canoe paddle. After many years of use in the educational program by thousands of school kids, the Whatcom Museum has now incorporated these objects into their new exhibit: People of the Sea and Cedar, which is on permanent display in the Lightcatcher Building.
Scott’s work is represented in museums in Japan, Germany, and the U.S., as well as many private collections.
In 2010 Scott was adopted into the Tlingit Chookaneidí clan by Fred Sał kaa Fulmer, and given the name Kadach’aakú, meaning “carver”.
In 2012, Scott was asked by Pauline Hillaire to be part of a restoration team to work on her father's, Joe Hillaire, Centennial Totem Pole that has been a landmark in Bellingham since 1952. The accompanying book and CD; A Totem Pole History: The Work of Joe Hillaire by Pauline Hillaire, edited by Gregory Fields, documents the restoration project and her father’s life as an artist.
In 2016, Scott, Fred Sał kaa Fulmer, and Jeff Sei ya eesh Skaflestad carved a totem pole for the Chookaneidí Clan of Hoonah, Alaska. The three carvers were tasked with this project by elders of the Chookaneidí Clan. The totem, named the Goonz Pole, is a shaman’s pole which historically stood in the original Tlingit village in what is now called Glacier Bay. More information on this project and others is available on Scott’s website: www.SpeakingCedar.com
NW Carving, April 2019
Location: Bellingham, WA