I was born in Canada in 1957 at a northern Alberta air force base at Cold Lake. I spent my youth in Germany and Ottawa while my father served 21 years as an airforce aircraft mechanic. My highschool and college years were spent in Brantford, Ontario, Canada followed by 12 years living and working in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada. I moved back to Brantford, Ontario, Canada in 1991 where most of the Novak clan call home.
After many years of working with computers as both a career and a hobby I was introduced to wood carving by my father in 1992. My interest in carving wildfowl and songbirds rekindled my photography interests, which had been dormant since highschool, as a way to acquire reference material for my carvings. This interest has lead me through the transition from 35mm film photography through digital point-and-shoot to entry level digital SLR to professional digital SLR and along the way a transition from Windows-based PC’s into the Apple Macintosh world.
My carving interest have branched out to include Santa’s, Snowmen, whimsical cottages, pins, and the occasional sign. In addition to wood I also carve soapstone, cottonwood bark and create sculptures in wire.
I have made it a summer ritual to attend classes at the Haliburton School of the Arts in Haliburton, Ontario, Canada. I have taken several classes in woodcarving, songbird carving, miniature bird carving, wire sculpture, mold making, soapstone carving, and watercolour painting.
I have been competing with my wood carvings for many years at both the local and international level and have advanced from Novice level to Intermediate to Open. My carvings have competed and received recognition at:
- Brantford Wood Carving Competition – Brantford, Ontario, Canada
- Hamilton Wood Carving Competition – Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
- Livonia Wood Carving Competition – Livonia Michigan, USA
- Wye Marsh Wood Carving Competition – Midland, Ontario, Canada
- Kitchener Wood Carving Competition – Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
- Ward World Championship Wildfowl Carving Competition – Ocean City, Maryland, USA
My carvings, and photographs are available for purchase and commission request are accepted.
My carvings can be purchased as originals.
My photographic art can be purchased as limited-edition prints as well as open edition prints and art cards. Check them out at johnnovak-photographicart.com
John is a faculty member at the Dundas Valley School of Art where he teaches classes on soapstone carving, wood sculpture and wire sculpture.