Indigenous Background: Haida, Queen Charlotte Islands, BC
Haida First Nations artist Clarence Mills was born in Skidegate, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia in 1958. He is a member of the Eagle Clan and takes the Split Raven and Grizzly Bear as his crests.
His grandfather, Jimmy Wilson, was hereditary Chief Skedans. When he was born, his grandmother told his mother her visions of who he was going to be. He was going to connect to the outside become a good artist, and never return home to live. Therefore, they gave him the Aboriginal name “Gahghinskuss,” meaning “you’re out of your own land”. However, grandmother’s vision of his life only went up till he was thirty-one.
“So, what happens after thirty-one?” he asked.
“That’s up to you,” his mother told him.
His prints, jewelry, and glasswork sell in native art shops, museums, and galleries throughout British Columbia. His totem poles have been displayed internationally at World Expos and world-class museums such as the Louvre.
His designs are amongst the most powerful Northwest Coast artwork being created today. He creates in the tradition of his people. His Haida family crests inspire the design principals incorporated into his carvings in argillite, ivory, red, and yellow cedar. Clarence creates boxes, bowls, doors, plaques, limited edition prints, engraved silver and gold jewelry; and most recently, monumental sized totem poles for special events and clients around the world. His works have reflected his beliefs that the Haida tradition should be preserved and communicated across the globe.
In British Columbia, on Canada’s West Coast, lives a First Nations culture with a rich history. Art has been its survival, bringing a much larger awareness of its people and culture beyond the Canadian coast to share with the world.
Today Clarence can often be found creating monumental totem poles and working on other various projects throughout the Lower Mainland and Coast of BC.
As a BC enterprise, 3S Mask appreciate and love Clarence Mills’ artwork. His mission is to promote Haida art to more people around the world. In June 2020, the company formally signed a contract with Clarence to use his totem art work on our products. A series of Clarence’s design products have been developed which combine Haida artistic elements on 3S products. His art is adding a more stylish and artistic spin to our products. It allows our customers who love Haida art to have even more choices.