Tuck, Edward Layton Harris
Birth Date/Place: May 16, 1930; West LaHave, Lunenburg County, NS
Death Date/Place: June 15, 2008; Chester, NS
Ed was born into an artistic family. His mother was a niece of Robert Harris, the internationally-renowned Canadian artist. His sister Mary is an artist and a teacher at the College of Art, Toronto, and his brother Robert is an artist/cartoonist. Although Ed, known to his family as "Buzz", chose to become an Anglican priest, he had an artistic bent and throughout his life spent much of his free time drawing or sculpting.
Following his early schooling at Kings College School in Windsor, NS, Ed attended the University of King's College in Halifax, graduating in 1960 and becoming a Deacon in the Anglican church that year. He was ordained a priest in 1961. He had no formal art training beyond a one-term course at NSCAD.
His duties as a parish priest took him first to Mulgrave and later to Parrsborough. It was there that he began to work with papier mache and, in 1971, he created a 20-foot statue of Glooscap, from papier mache coated with fibre-glass. That statue still stands today, in the centre of the town. The papier mache was created from copies of the Financial Times that had been given to him by his father who hoped that its financial advice would be useful to the young priest and his family.
Summer camping holidays with his young family often took them to PEI, where Ed began to carve interesting shapes from sandstone rocks he found near the beach. On occasion , he sold some of those red sandstone carvings to defray expenses.
When Ed became minister at St. Stephen's Anglican Church in Chester, in the early 1970s, he discovered a love of pottery and was one of the enthusiasts who frequented "The Barn" where art lessons were given to a variety of talented amateurs. He learned how to use a pottery wheel, bought bricks of clay to use in his work, and was able to fire the finished forms in a kiln at the Barn. He also enjoyed teaching children how to create papier mache objects at a summer Vacation Bible School.
In 1993, he developed Parkinson's disease, which hindered his ability to work on the wheel and to use the kiln but he continued to draw and sculpt heads and figures. He also built a large wall of attractive greywacke stone on his new house in East River.
The artistic gene continues in the next generation. The Tuck's son Graham has a Fine Arts degree from the University of Victoria and works as a commercial illustrator. Their two daughters, Joan and Susan, although not active in the graphic arts, have shown an affinity for design in fabric arts. In a different artistic field, his widow, Barbara, served for many years as church organist in Chester and continues to volunteer as an accompanist for the local community choir "Studio Singers".