James Sawyer was born on Haida Gwaii in 1969 and is a member of the Skidegate Giidins Clan. James has been inspired by his uncle Doug Wilson, an argillite carver and author, and by his grandfather Ike Hans who carved in argillite and wood. He is also influenced by fellow Haida artist and friend, Reg Davidson.
James grew up in Richmond, near Vancouver BC, before returning to Haida Gwaii in 1992 where he developed his skills training with Pat Wesley. In 2004, James began carving in gold, copper, and silver and has since found joy and success creating works in metal.
James lives and works in Masset with his family and is an active member of his community. He spends much of his time working with Haida youth to encourage the growth and development of Haida art and culture.