Crafts of Character

Kevin Coates Woodcarving

Capturing the colouful characters of outport Newfoundland

A sampling of products:

Kevin Coates Woodcarving
Kevin Coates Woodcarving
Kevin Coates Woodcarving
Kevin Coates Woodcarving
Kevin Coates Woodcarving


"Ever since I can remember there were these old fellows standing around the wharves or fish stages sharing a yarn. I always like listening to them and sometimes they were comical, too. My carving is one way of keeping the memories of the old times alive." 

Kevin Coates lives and grew up in the outport of Winterton, NL. Before the cod moratorium in 1992, Coates had made his living in the fishery, both on and off the water. Taking inspiration from a magazine article about carving caricatures in wood, Coates took up carving and hasn't looked back. With more than 3,500 figures to his credit, Coates continues to carve boat builders, fisherman, berry pickers and special commissions. Without preparatory sketches or power tools, he carves directly into the wood using simple hand tools. Coates uses all local wood –mostly Balsam fir – and harvests trees taken down by the wind. He estimates that he spends a third of his carving time on the face of the figures. It's Kevin Coates' favourite part and the one people notice first when they "meet" one of his character-rich carvings.

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Contact Information

Contact: Kevin Coates
P.O. Box 178
Winterton, NL A0B 3M0
Studio: 3 Brinson's Hill, Winterton. First right past the Post Office, next to the Anglican Church.
Studio Hours: 8am - 6pm - By chance or appointment

Phone: 709-583-2410