William Taylor

William Taylor is an Inuvialuit carver based and born in Tuktoyaktuk, NT.  Taylor’s mentor and inspiration is his father Bobby Taylor Pokiak.  Taylor is continuing the legacy to his father’s to his sons Curtis and John Taylor.  Taylor has been carving since a young age of 10 and continues to share his knowledge and skills to the next generation of artists.

Taylor began carving caribou antlers making small birds stretching to kayaks.  He progressed to soapstone like Brazilian likes the shine and finishes quality it poses.  Taylor recalls his first carving as a struggle making a kayak this was significant because he gives gratitude for his father’s encouragement and guidance.  Taylor believes in only using hand tools such as the hand and jig saw because as a way of keeping the traditional way of his father Bobby Taylor Pokiak.  William, Bobby’s eldest son, started carving at the age of 10.  “My dad was carving and he was making money.  We wanted to make money for him to, to try and help him out,” he says.  His first carving was a seated bird made from antler, which he made by watching his dad carve and following along. [1] 

Taylor enjoys working on small carving showing great attention to an animal’s features and mannerisms.  He mostly likes to make a hunter traveling with a kayak.  The kayak is a significant subject because he describes the old way of the Inuvialuit before technology.  The kayak was the main source of food for families to hunt the beluga whales or seals in the summer in the Inuvialuit Region coastline. 

Taylor has been one of the main exhibits of the Great Northern Arts Festival since 2013 along with his family with a strong line of carvers.  Taylor has sold many sculptures mainly in Canada and has sold to people from Japan to the deep south of Florida.  Taylor continues to work closely with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation selling his work.


[1] Nathalie Helberg-Harrison, “Bobby’s Legacy,” Tusaayaksat, Spring 2016: 53.