Carving a Tlingit Style Mask

Carve a Tlingit Mask

The Port Townsend School of Woodworking welcomes Scott Jensen who will teach Carving a Tlingit Style Mask.

Self-taught, Scott Jensen began carving in 1972 and then teaching carving in 1974 in Craig, Alaska. He has continued his commitment to instruction 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.

In 2010 Scott was adopted into the Tlingit Chookaneidí clan by Fred Sał kaa Fulmer, and given the name Kadach’aakú, meaning “carver”.

This class is designed to refine your skills with traditional NW carving tools – adzes, straight knives and curved knives. Scott will show you the techniques for efficient carving of sculptural forms using these tools.

Class Description

During the five day class, we will carve a Tlingit style mask. Starting with a half round of green alder we will remove the bark with a lip adz. We will then prepare the surface by faceting, to make it symmetrical before we apply the pattern. Step by step using an adz, a straight knife and crooked knives we will rough out the features of the mask. The next step will be to refine all the surfaces and make final decisions on details that will give the mask its spirit. Once that is done and no more major wood removal is needed, we can hollow out the back of the mask. At that point we will be ready to learn the techniques of knife finishing our carvings. Time permitting, we can do the painting using acrylic paint in the traditional colors of red, black and celadonite blue/green.

Tools You Need to Bring

Please note: Scott suggests you get any tools you need from Kestrel Tool.

  • 2 1/2″ lip adz – A2
  • Sitka baby adz – A8
  • Baby gutter adz – A9
  • Sitka straight adz (this is great to have as an adz that is sized in between the other two, you can get along without it)
  • Straight knife
  • Three full size crooked knives and one small crooked knife.
  • Crooked knives; full size, C bend, A bend and H-3, Small size, #7. Consult Kestrel Tool for information on a proper straight knife for you when ordering.
  • (If you already carve, bring all other tools you feel you may need to complete the project)
  • Sharpening equipment
  • Tracing paper
  • Scissors
  • 18″ Flexible ruler
  • Pencils (needs to work on wet surfaces)
  • Eraser
  • Blue painters (masking) tape
  • Paint brushes
  • Mars black and cadmium red medium acrylic paint
  • One plastic kitchen garbage bag

Please call Scott with questions on any of these items at (360) 393-7676.


This class is open to all skill levels.

If you cancel your registration for a course less than or equal to 10 days prior to the beginning of class, we will keep 50% of the course fee.
If you cancel on or after the first day of class, you forfeit 100% of the course fee.

Port Townsend School of Woodworking

Our mission is to inspire a lifelong passion for craftsmanship through education in woodworking and traditional building trades. We range in age from 10 to 85. At first glance you might wonder what brings us together. The answer: a shared love for woodworking. We’re serious about technique, we maintain a tireless work ethic, we thrive on helping each other problem solve, and we believe the only failure isn’t trying.

Our passions include: hand tools, joinery, fine furniture, Northwest Coast Arts, woodturning, tiny homes, Vardo Wagons and creating an inclusive, supportive community.

More classes from Port Townsend School of Woodworking

Class Fee: $775

  Apr 8, 2019 - Apr 12, 2019
Class Type: In Person
Age: Adults
Material Fee: $75
Provider: Port Townsend School of Woodworking
Location: Building #304 Fort Worden

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