Image Gallery #6

It is not very often that one can find in the hands of the same tool collector all the tools that a wood carver would dream to posses. I have seen the most beautiful lot of carving tools now belonging to Mr. Bruno Vaillancourt of Sorel-Tracy, Qc.,Canada. These tools were the personal property of his great grand father and he keeps them very preciously. Maybe, besides inheriting of this treasure, he got at the same time his ancestor's talent ? It will be up to you to find out.

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Dixit Bruno Vaillancourt : "I was born in Verdun Qc, in 1937. I moved to Sorel-Tracy in 1942 where I made my early studies. Afterwards I studied the techniques of electricity in Sorel-Tracy and in Montréal. Then I enrolled for a course at l'Institut des Arts Appliqués of Montréal. The main subjects were decoration and cabinet making. I then carried on my studies in pedagogy of plastic arts at Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Montréal. I have been a professor in plastic arts until 1987 when I interested myself in teaching infography and advertising or publicity arts to adults. As I was particularly attracted towards carving, I have tried my hand on simpler media before attempting, in 1987, bronze carving with all its complexity. I make my apprentice studies in this rigorous craftsmanship at the smelter workshop of Serge Bourassa of St-Robert."

These musk oxen are part of a group of 11 unique bronze castings executed by Bruno Vaillancourt.


Joseph-Louis Israël Pagé (1842 to 1921)

He worked for the Grand Tronc Co., railway company who constructed the deluxe Pullman passenger's cars among other constructions. These wagons were ornated by carved panels and woodworks and supplied with exclusive woven fabrics. The Grand Tronc was a Crown company (governmental) and by this fact, the carver Page worked at the execution of carved woodworks in the Library of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. These works were completed in 1876.

Anecdote in relation to the small sketch to the left : By sheer pleasure, the sculptor Page, while sitting on a swing and talking with the "queteux" (beggar) of the village of St-Ours, with his pocket knife, carved the head of his guest on a piece of pine bark.


The 157 tools are stored in a small cabinet, very well made, and having many drawers. A solid and easy to use handle permitted the transportation of the cabinet from one place to the other.


The smallest chisels or gouges occupy the upper drawers. All the desirable profiles are included in this set. But what mostly caught my sight are the handles of these tools. All are different from each other and all are beautiful. Local wood species as well as imported ones were used for these handles. This is what makes this collection unique.


Many of these beautiful handles are made of as many as 5 different species of wood. It is a real piece of art in itself !


The term "gouges" is used in a general way. It includes: Chisels, straight and skew, strait gouges, back bent gouges, bent gouges, spoon gouges, fishtail gouges, parting tools and veining tools.


A small box contains are the stones required to sharpen or to hones all the tools whatever their shape.
Here are pattern samples, templates and models used by the sculptor Page. All these pieces were in a larger tool-box.
We shall show here, as an example of a very meticulous work, a cane made by this gentleman sculptor. Made of different species of wood the cane is wonderfully incrusted . M. Vaillancourt obtained it many years after he received the tools.