Local artist creates totem pole for Dan Nicholas Park
By Shavonne Potts
Take a 16-inch red cedar tree, some cutting tools and plenty of elbow work. Mix in a master carver and the outcome is a nearly 7-foot-tall totem pole.
The pole, carved by Narvile “Narv” Parks of Salisbury, was erected Wednesday at Dan Nicholas Park. Just beyond the Hurley Water Plaza, right in front of the ticket window, the totem pole stands cemented in place.
At the top of the pole is an owl, similar to ones at the Nature Center, and a wolf, just like the red wolf at the park.
“I was thinking about the park and its animals,” Parks said.
Also on the totem pole is the face of an American Indian, an arrow head and deer antlers.
Parks spent 300 hours carving the totem pole using an adze, which is a woodcarving tool that looks similar to an axe and a hoe.
When Parks finished the pole, Harwood Airbrush Designs airbrushed it. Parks then coated the totem pole with linseed oil and brushed on three coats of varnish.
Work on the totem pole started when park officials asked Parks to conduct a Simple Living Show where he’d showcase his carvings.
“I thought I’d start it during the show,” he said.
Parks’ massive project slowed down a bit and later picked back up.
“The thing I like seeing is local citizens taking an interest in the park,” said Bob Pendergrass, supervisor of the Rowan County Nature and Learning Center. “This park belongs to the people.”
And, he added, “Narv’s an excellent carver.”
Pendergrass called Parks’ work for the park fitting since the totem pole traditionally represents a respect for nature and animals.
For more information about Narv’s Custom Carvings, visit his Web site at www.narvscustomcarvings.com.