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Artist Profile – Ngoc Dep Nguyen – From Wood Carving to Foam Carving

February 27th, 2014
dep artist profile title card

Ngoc Dep Nguyen is one of the many talented sculptors at IDS and has been with the company since 2008. She’s best known around the shop for her amazing speed in turning simple blocks of foam into incredible smiling sculptures.


Besides her skill of sculpting foam into the friendly faces of IDS characters, Dep is a master of carving wood. Her wood carving skill lies on the complete opposite end of IDS’s cute cartoon animals. She carves realistic, highly detailed, textured pieces.

Inspired by nature and wildlife images her best work is done on the gnarly tree roots of trees rather than solid chunks of wood. The forms of the characters she carves are forced to follow the twisted shapes of the wood, creating beautiful art pieces unlike anything else. Her approach to her carving is to always try to put a soul into every piece she carves, which becomes obvious when viewing these amazing pieces.

Dep has had numerous gallery showings, including most recently showcasing her latest piece, First Nations Chief, in the Western Showcase art exhibition at the world-famous Calgary Stampede. There she won first place in her division.

Dep has been sculpting since 1979. While already having a natural talent and eye for sculpture, she honed her abilities at art school learning about the proper tools and techniques. Inspired and supported by her teachers, Dep went on to instruct others as an art teacher for 15 years. Following that she then ran a commercial art studio for 5 years.

Originally from Vietnam, she moved to Canada in 2006 to be with her husband, a local Calgarian. They have a big family, with a daughter and grandson in Vietnam and 2 stepsons and 3 grandchildren here.

Dep hopes to continue working just as she is now, creating happy characters for IDS and beautiful wood carvings for relaxation.


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