For this month, Winnipeg River Arts Council features woodcarver Rick Brereton from Lac du Bonnet.
Brereton’s work is known throughout western Canada and the north central USA. His highly skilled knowledge and passion for his craft has him much in demand on both sides of the border. As an accomplished carver, he has won many best of show awards. He is also an experienced and knowledgeable competition judge and a sought-after instructor, teaching woodcarving throughout the year in Canada and the USA.
Brereton grew up on a farm near Birtle, Manitoba where he developed a love of wildlife and a passion for working with wood from his father, a carpenter and farmer. During a thirty-five year career with the Winnipeg Police Service, he honed his skills of working with people and developed a strong background as a qualified hands-on instructor.
He joined a woodcarving club twenty-three years ago and has continued developing his skills and sharing them with others. Brereton and his wife Cathie, also an accomplished woodcarver and crafter, have spent a great deal of time promoting their passion for woodcarving, and working for the woodcarving community to help it grow and develop.
Brereton has worked with many of the world`s top woodcarving instructors, but credits his early local mentors for the true inspiration for his work. In the early years, he fell in love with relief style woodcarving, which led to many commissioned carvings, including a large buffalo relief at the University of Manitoba and a series of large historical panels in Minnesota.
Retirement brought the Rick and Cathie Brereton to their lakeside home in Coppermine. Their woodcarving shop, on the second floor of their garage, is the weekly gathering place for over twenty-five people learning the craft. Brereton believes that encouraging new carvers to share in his passion provides him a wealth of satisfaction.
The accompanying picture shows him with what he considers one of his best relief carvings, The Wizard, which has earned him a number of Best of Show awards.