Gordon Bok grew up in a musical home around the boatyards of Camden, Maine and sailed on the lovely old schooners that hail from that port. He started playing guitar when he was nine. Later he sang of mythical sea folk, seals and selkies who came to him in dreams and legends. At a time when folk music was experiencing a great revival, he became a leader in preserving, collecting, creating and sharing a wide variety of rich and intensely beautiful songs of both land and sea. He has recorded over 20 albums in his musical career. He was deemed the “poet laureate” of seafarers by Time magazine.
Gordon is not only a musician; he also creates these seafaring scenes in relief-carving sculptures in wood. His familiarity with wood began a long time ago when he started carving in 1970, after he inherited his mother’s tools, most of which he still uses. Selected carvings are molded and made into bronze in small, limited editions. These can be displayed outdoors throughout the year.
The scenes of his relief carvings are also scenes from his songs. They are scenes of wind, water, fortitude, music and life around boats. They are scenes that leap from the mind of man who is rooted in tradition, music and the rhythms of the sea.
“I grew up around a shipyard, and have a long fascination with the shapes of working vessels and the myriad moving shapes of water.
For me, carving is one way of remembering a way of life that is disappearing. Many images are from memories of working on boats or fishing along the coast, and most of the figures in my carvings are people I have known.”