Fine wood sculptures
First attempt at a face. I was trying to carve Bob Marley. Life size. I learnt three things from this piece: 1.) Don't carve water-logged wood. 2.) Don't rush because once you cut something away you can't put it back. 3.) Don't drop the work as it won't bounce well.
Second carving, 1999, Dolphin trio, Breadfruit wood, 10" on stone base. Not species specific.
First carving, 1999, Shark trio, Breadfruit wood, 10" on driftwood base. Not species specific.
Second attempt at a face. This is a bust of my good friend Bill Acker. The owner of Manta Ray Bay Hotel and Yap Divers. Life size. I learnt two things from this piece: 1.) Don't attempt a face in heavily grained wood. 2.) Don't carve a bust of someone still alive, it's not the "done" thing.
Munn Originals was established in 1999 in Yap, Micronesia. It is the result of one man's love of wood sculpting.
I was born in Jamaica in 1960, and immigrated to Canada in 1974. I had a career as a chef from 1983 to 2015, working throughout the South Pacific, Micronesia and St. Lucia.
I discovered that creating in wood was a wonderful stress release after being in the kitchen all day. My first "studio" was a humble affair consisting of a tarpaulin over a work table and a few tools. For years I collected carvings of sharks, manta rays, small statues and masks from around the world. After many years of thinking about carving something myself, I finally gave it a try. My first attempt at carving anything that wasn't edible was a trio of sharks which sold at the local gallery and requests were made for more. Being an avid scuba diver, and living in a place that draws scuba enthusiasts, sea life was the inspiration for my sculpting. I sold my manta rays, sharks, and dolphins at the local gallery and Manta Ray Bay Hotel, where I worked as the chef/food and beverage manager. Guests began to commission various works and the demand slowly grew.
I carved my first face, a bust of Bob Marley. It looked a lot like him and encouraged me to do more, and I have since had success with wall-mounted faces.
This continued after a relocation to Palau, Micronesia. My new studio had a proper roof and more tools, but was only used part-time because I was still cooking for a living. My website, munnoriginals.com, was established while in Palau. I was fortunate to receive many commissioned orders through the site. It went offline in 2005 due to a move to St. Lucia. I worked as a chef for another nine years with Windjammer Landing. I had no place to set up my studio, until 2015.
After more than 30 years as a chef, my dream of becoming a full-time artist was realised. The burning desire to create in wood that was suppressed for 10 years now has an outlet. An excellent meal soon becomes a memory, but a work of art is enjoyed for a lifetime.
My work is shown and sold on consignment in five star hotels and resorts in St. Lucia.
Some visitors to this site will be old friends who have commissioned various works in the past. As before, I will send regular updates and photos of the work in progress. Clients have always enjoyed being included in the process, so this will certainly continue.