“Mary was born and raised in Arviat. She has only been carving for ‘a couple of years’, but she is also a talented seamstress who makes wallhangings, dolls and other sewing crafts. As a mother of two young children, Mary only carves when she has time.
“The strongest artistic influence in Mary’s work are those of her mother, Alice Akammak, and her mother-in-law, Lucy (Tasseor) Tutsweetok. She learned by watching them as they worked. Mary has great admiration for Lucy’s work and her success as a carver, ‘I know my mother-in-law’s work is exhibited in the south. I think she is good’.
“Mary prefers to carve with stone and does not use power tools when she carves, but uses only a file. ‘I enjoy carving, I like to make a person or a seal. It’s hard to decide what to make sometimes — how to shape the stone.’ Mary feels that what makes her carving style different from other people is the introduction of beadwork to her work. ‘I put beads around my carvings to make them look pretty.’”
Interview with Jill Barber, Oct. 12, 1998. Published in Carving Out A Future: Contemporary Inuit Sculpture of Third Generation Artists from Arviat, Cape Dorset and Clyde River, Feb. 18, 1999.