My full name is Joseph Allen Ratushniak, but you can call me Joe Carver.
It's intriguing to me how so much of what I enjoy doing now seems to have been influenced by a childhood trip to Vancouver Island. Two things there must have made a permanent impression on me: the magnificent First Nations art collection housed at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, and Cathedral Grove, an old-growth forest just outside of Port Alberni.
Giant wood carvings and giant trees twisted the mind of that small farm boy from Saskatchewan.
Much later, it was my good fortune to fall in with a couple of the best log home builders in Western Canada. Through their endeavours, I was given the chance to teach myself how to sculpt wood that was then integrated with the structure of their clients' new homes - e.g. carved doors, mantels, newel posts, truss pendants, etc.
That's how this began for me over twenty years ago.
Today, I continue to savour the process of rescuing unwanted trees, then wrestling and refining that raw living material into something that will hopefully be appreciated and enduring. Commissions occupy most of my time and increasingly, functional art, particularly furniture and lighting have become a focus of mine.
In the last year I have also been employed as a sculptor in Vancouver's burgeoning movie industry.