Peguis First Nation artist opens soapstone carving business in Winnipeg

A Peguis First Nation artist who now calls Winnipeg home says soapstone carving helped begin his healing journey after dealing with the impacts of intergenerational trauma.

Frederick Spence is a self-taught artist who now enjoys passing his skills along to others.

“Joy is what I feel and it’s the feeling I have when I made my first piece,” he says. “When I made my first piece I showed everyone I could and there were so many emotions to it as well; frustration, excitement, anger and disappointment.

Because I ended up breaking something in my very first one but when I was done there was a lot of purpose, fulfillment and joy.”

Spence says living with PTSD and with addictions carving called to him.

“I believe that the hurdles and the experiences and tough times in our lives really form who we are today,” he says. “I wouldn’t be who I am today without those. I am grateful for them because I’m a much better person for it.”

His business, Spence Custom Carvings, is where he sells his work, takes custom orders and provides workshops.

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