Al Doucette was born and raised in New Bedford. He began sculpting and scrimshaw while working as a commercial fisherman. His artistic efforts blossomed in the early 1960s when Bessie Cardoza a woman who owned an antique shop in Fairhaven asked him if he could carve a small sea gull from ivory. Mr. Doucette successfully reproduced the small bird resulting in additional orders of seagulls dolphins and whales. He continued sculpting as a hobby while taking subsequent jobs at a Fairhaven shipyard and in fishing. His fishing career ended in 1977 when an Israeli container ship rammed the 98-foot scalloper Donna Lynn and Mr. Doucette was aboard. The Donna Lynn lost a man overboard and had to be escorted to New Bedford by the Coast Guard. “It was a frightening experience the scare of a lifetime” he said. “After going through that and realizing we were going to get home safe I decided it was time to forget the fishing business and make a living off my artistic ability.”
Al has sold thousands of original sculptures, scrimshaw etchings and Nantucket basket jewelry over the years. His work has drawn widespread praise from fellow artists with his carvings featured in magazines such as Virginia Living and in books such as “Lightship Baskets of Nantucket” and “Scrimshaw The Whalers’ Legacy.” Al Doucette is 89 years old and continues to produce beautiful works of art.