Lawmaker given paddle to keep him going in D.C. (slide show)

TULALIP – Tony Hatch of the Tulalip Tribes gave U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen a canoe paddle Monday as a gift after giving the lawmaker a tour of the Tulalip Design Center.

As Larsen goes through tough times with the Republican leadership in Washington, D.C., Hatch said the paddle can help him.

“It takes the canoe through rough waters,” Hatch said. He added that if the canoe capsizes, you have to hold on to both the canoe and the paddle. Even if you can flip the canoe, “The paddle is your savior. The paddle keeps you going the right direction in life.”

Larsen said he was impressed with the artwork being done at the center.

“Thousands of people can see the culture and history of the tribes through this beautiful art,” he said.

Larsen even got a chance to use one of the chisels, although he was warned it was razor sharp.

“Smells good,” he said of the wood as he chipped away.

Tribal artists Hatch, Ty Juvinel and Mike Gobin showed Larsen how they do their work, the tools they use, and even the huge logs out back that are where it all starts.

Gobin explained that one of the works, a 13-foot-tall Sasquatch, was made out of a 990-year-old tree that was blown down 15 years ago near Darrington. It eventually will be part of a three-piece set that will go outside of the administration office. Carver James Madison is also making the other two pieces – one a 7-footer of a grandma basket weaving and another piece that will be 9-feet-long. Hatch said they do mockup versions of the project on a small scale to make sure it looks good before making the big carvings.

Gobin said they also are working on a huge project for the Mukilteo ferry area. “We need about thirty more people to fill all of the requests,” he said.

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