Mark Totan

Mark Totan is an Inuit carver born in 1951, originally from the tiny community of Igloolik, Nunavut, located on Baffin Island. A heavy duty mechanic by trade, he began seriously carving stone as a young man. Today Mark lives in Edmonton, AB. working as a full time carver.

He specializes in realistic carvings of the people and animals of the north, depicting the lifestyle and history of his people. His intricate attention to detail has gained him an instant following by collectors and galleries.

Mark has been carving stone since 1988 and continues to use traditional methods in his carving. When asked to carve a particular image, he has often said that the stone decides what it will be. Since Canadian soapstone has become less accessible, Mark sculpts in soapstone from around the world including East Indian, South and North American and Chinese, all having individual characteristics depending on the geographical region of origin.
Mark initially roughs out the block of carving stone with hammer and chisel and then uses files, rasps and sandpaper for finishing. The final touch consists of rubbing with liquid acrylic or Danish oil to bring out the natural finish of the stone. Each stone may vary in colour and markings, from shades of black and brown to various shades of green, as well as shades from cream to pure white. Soapstone is characterized by its softness and lustre.

Mark displays and sells his carvings in various galleries throughout North America and has sold work through the Hudson Bay Co-op. The sculptures of Mark Totan have been included in numerous private and corporate collections throughout the world and his carvings have been used for many corporate projects.