Stephen Foster

Stephen Foster is from White Mountain, Alaska. An Inupiaq Native, he is a member of the Fish River Tribe whose family has been living next to the Fish River for generations. As a child he was introduced to the Native art of carving and scrimshaw from his elders.

He has been drawing with pencil and paper all his life, but is currently using his drawing skills to develop his artistic talents in the difficult art of scrimshaw.

Using bowhead whale baleen, Stephen creates pieces to honor and memorialize the people of Alaska. Scrimshaw was traditionally done with a sharpened piece of bone from the front shin of either caribou or moose. Since the introduction of nails and other metals, the Inupiaq have used sharpened metal as instruments to create unique scrimshaw pieces. Stephen is noted for his attention to detail and his work is defined by his intricate technique of layering dots to create the images he desires.

Stephen says “I gain happiness from seeing the smiles I bring to people’s faces when they see my art…”

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