September 14, 1981
Campbell River, BC
Marcus Alfred began carving in 1995. He was taught by his father, Wayne Alfred, and renowned Kwakwaka'wakw artist Beau Dick. Like his father, Marcus was taught Kwakwaka'wakw ceremonial traditions from an early age and participated in ceremonies held at the Alert Bay Big House. His father is among the premier ceremonial dancers, and more recently has begun to share this responsibility with his son. Marcus studied jewellery making with Kwakwaka'wakw artist Patrick Seaweed, and has been creating pieces since 2010. He works in cedar, alder, copper, and sterling silver. Over the past three years, Marcus has dedicated himself to mastering the difficult repoussé engraving technique. Repoussé involves hammering the metal outwards, and then hammering it back down into the design to provide pieces with a three-dimensionality. It generally takes three to four times as long as standard hand-engraving.