(1905 - 1990)
|Percy Bezanson lived most of his life in the village of Brickton, Nova Scotia. As a young man, he worked as a log surveyor at a lumber mill, and later he was appointed a county constable, an honorary position he held until age 73. He lived in a small 8 ft. by 10 ft. home with a tiny greenhouse.
Percy said he had whittled all of his life, but following his retirement his output increased. During the fall and winter he concentrated on his carving, and in the spring he planted vegetables in his greenhouse, moving them outside when the warm weather arrived. He carved numerous subjects, but his horses and oxen have become the pieces most sought after by collectors. He also made several banjos and mandolins by hand and one is in the picture with the artist and we have one on display in the gallery.
Percy Bezanson favored old cedar and pine power poles as carving material, and carved using only a jackknife. He claimed there were very few jackknives for the type of work he did, and he was particularly fond of one sent to him by a collector from Germany, and another one sent to him from Japan.
Percy stopped carving in 1980 due to a sinus infection. He also had asthma which was irritated by the paint and dust, although he did carve the occassional piece after that when his health permitted. He passed away in 1990 at the age of 84.
Ref: "Homestead", March, 1982; The Upper Canadian, May/June, 1994; Blake McKendry, An Illustrated Companion to Canadian Folk Art (1999).
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