Loren Tsalabutie

"My name is Loren Tsalabutie. I learned how to carve from my late father Jeffery Tsalabutie when I was 13 years old. I only made a few carvings under my father’s supervision until his untimely passing. I was 16 at the time. Being that young and grieving I found comfort in picking up after my dad the few words I remember him telling me when carving was to “always remember to give them life movement always flowing” Like the flow of life it bends and adapts ever-changing. Those days were some of the hardest yet they were good, a year after his passing I entered my first show at the Swaia Santa Fe Indian market where I was awarded 1 of 10 fellowships awards. I took it as a sign that my father had blessed me with his gift. That was the start of my career. Since then I have attended many events and have won numerous awards. I am known for creating acrobatic carvings Inuit inspired. My favorite animal to carve is the mountain lion which oddly enough was the most difficult to carve when I first started carving.  The stones I like carving are exotic and found throughout the world.  The process I go through is first picking out a stone that is naturally shaped like the animals I’m going to carve then after a stone is chosen comes the fun part of carving where I utilize my motor and grinding wheel followed by my Dremel and diamond bits this part is where I carve underwater it helps prevent the dust from becoming airborne and also helps with the cooling of the stone and diamond bits. The final steps are sanding and polishing. With all my experience and success I owe it not only to my dad but to my ancestors as they were the ones who carried this form of art for so long. I'm proud to be able to create something that is part of our history. Each carving I make is a part of me. I am grateful for those who have collected my work through the years. Seeing and hearing how you have welcomed my art into your home brings me joy. As for the future my goal is to continue carrying mine and my father’s legacy to be remembered and cherished through the ages."

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