Adolf Oetter
British Columbia artist Adolf Oetter was born and raised in Bremen , Germany, emigrating to Canada in 1967. It was in Germany that he learned the skills of metalsmithing, apprenticing for three and a half years in a slowly dying trade that is now being superseded by 20th century technology and mass production. In 1955 he was one of only three German apprentices undertaking formal metalsmiths training, earning his journeymans certification in 1958. Metalsmithing is a skill that can be directly traced back to the Middle Ages when talented European craftsmen fabricated suits of armour for 15th century soldiers. Later it evolved into a more widely appreciated art form as
metalsmiths learned to form ornaments and such practical items as tea kettles and bowls. With special metalsmithing tools he has crafted himself, Oetter pursues this unusual trade from his studio on Vancouver Island. His works can be seen in fine galleries throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

Anita Valikoski

 

Anita Valikoski was born in 1954 in Victoria, B.C. Anita was able to combine her lifelong love of art and the experience gained from previous career paths to open Otter Gallery in 1990 in Campbell River. The gallery featured the works of over 100 Canadian artists for 10 years. Joining Adolf & Ryan at the Studio in 2000, Anita enjoys assisting Ryan and Adolf with production work and designing but most of all with working with our customers.
 

Harold Alfred

Harold (Jackson) Alfred was born in Alert Bay, B.C. and is a member of the Kwakwakawakw (formerly Kwakiutl) Nation and was born into the Namgis tribe in 1953.
Growing up in Alert Bay , constantly surrounded by the arts, one could not help but be influenced by the magic and majesty of the designs, figures and poles created by the great masters of the past. As a result, Alfred produces outstanding work which has a contemporary feel with a strong sense of the past. Alfred shows his respect for his heritage by following the standards set by past masters and strives to develop a distinct style which clearly depicts the strong traditional designs true to Kwakiutl art form. His logo is the powerful Thunderbird which is one of the founding crests of the Namgis and is symbolic of his roots as a Namgis artist from Alert Bay. Alfred presently lives in Victoria with his wife and three children.
 

Ryan Valikoski

Ryan Valikoski was born in 1979 in Victoria, British Columbia Canada. He has shown artistic ability from a young age. At the age of 18, Ryan began a non-formal apprenticeship with his uncle Adolf Oetter. Ryan has worked with Adolf, Harold and his Aunt Anita Valikoski at Otter Studios where he has formed a close working relationship and has learned many valuable life skills. Working with Artists like Adolf Oetter and Harold Alfred, Ryan has aquired an appreciation for Native design and handcraft. In addition to becoming a skilled craftsman, Ryan has developed a great understanding of the hard work and integrity that goes into creating each piece of hand made artwork. He has been with Otter Studios since 1998.
   
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