Four Clans Sun Mask by Bill Helin, Tsimshian Nation
Four Clans Sun Mask by Bill Helin, Tsimshian Nation limited edition bronze 31" high x 30" wide x 5" deep
*Shipping costs to be determined, please call 503-810-7525 for accurate quote
This incredible limited edition bronze represents the four clans of the Tsimshian people: Raven, Eagle, Wolf and Killer Whale. Though Bill is well known for his intricate jewelry works in silver and gold, he is an accomplished wood carver, and this bronze interpretation of his wood carving was his first foray into this medium. This piece is quite heavy, and needs a sturdy wall for display. The mask comes with a custom made hanging attachment.
Bill Helin's proud First Nation heritage has played an important role in his growth as an artist. Helin is of the Tsimshian Indian Nation, born and raisedin the Northwest coastal community of Prince Rupert, British Columbia.His Grandfather, Henry William Helin, was Chief of the Gitlan Tribe, and his Grandmother, Maud Helin, was Chieftainess of the Gitgeese Tribe.They raised a family of seven in the remote Northwest coast Indian village of Port Simpson, B.C.
When his Grandmother came to live with his family, Bill spent many hours listening as she spoke of the ways of the past. Through his 'Granny', Bill learned first hand the many legends of the Tsimshian. Helin's artistic nature was evident even at a very early age.
For the most part, Helin's artistry is self-taught.He learned from books, and was soon mastering techniques such as three dimensional forming in jewelrymaking called repousse. Several jeweler friends provided him with valuable tips on gem settings and they encouraged and inspired Bill to continue learning.
In 1973, Helin moved with his family to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, where he graduated from Nanaimo Senior Secondary School, winning the prestigious Michael Gergley Arts Scholarship in 1979.
Several years later, he took up woodcarving. At about this time, artist friend Art Sterrit was so taken with his work that he sponsored Bill to attend the prestigous K'San Indian Art and Carving School in Hazelton, British Columbia. Since then, Bill Helin has not looked at any other vocation.First, he concentrated on silver carving of jewelry, then gold.He also enjoys the woodcarving of bowls, paddles, masks, panels and totems.
Today he lives andworks from his studio and home on Vancouver Island.