This wonderful sculpture of a Québécois woman doing her baking was hand carved of white oak in the studio of master carver Marcel Guay in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, Quebec, Canada. Completely hand carved with a flat plane and chisel, this piece depicts a woman at her wood-fired oven, removing baked loaves of bread on a long peel, while other loaves lay cooling on a table nearby and a stack of firewood awaits the oven.
Like most carvers, Guay had other carvers working in his atelier and this piece was carved by one of them. The stamp on the bottom in black ink reads:
sculpté à la main (hand made) ATELIER D'ART MARCEL GUAY St.-Jean Port Joli, Qué. Can.
Unlike many of the anonymous apprentices, however, the carver of this piece, Lionel Dube, signed it in chip carving on the front edge of the platform (shown). This artwork measures 11 inches long, 5 inches wide and about 7 inches tall to the peak of the slanted roof. It weighs 2 1/4 pounds and is in excellent condition, with a nice natural finish to the wood and no chips, cracks or missing pieces. The details are fine and intricate and the artwork would make a wonderful gift for a baker, for a collection of wood carvings and for someone who loves folk art.