Elijah Pierce

American, 1892 - 1984
Pierce was born on a cotton plantation in Baldwyn, Mississippi. His father, a former slave, was a farmer and a church deacon. Pierce had whittled as a child, but began carving in earnest in the early 1920s. He settled in Columbus, Ohio and opened his own barbershop in the early 1950s, with one room for his studio. Pierce believed God directed him to preach through wood carving. In the late 70s, he retired from barbering and became a full-time carver. He carved animals, freestanding and bas relief figures with religious, secular, historical and biographical themes. He preferred to work in pine, shaping with a pocketknife, chisel and sandpaper, and finishing his works with paint, shellac and sometimes glitter.
Submitted on 01/11/15 by Just Folk