Carmen Goertzen (Tlaajang Nung Kingaass) was born in June, 1963 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Raised and educated in Massett, Haida Gwaii, Carmen began carving at the young age of eleven, and it has been his main interest ever since. Robert Davidson, an internationally acclaimed Haida artist instructed Carmen in making his own carving tools.
Carmen is not only involved in making Northwest Coast Native jewelry and wood items, but he is interested in photography and silk-screening. In 1987, Carmen began carving on a serious note using wood, stone and metal, with a particular emphasis on carving gold, silver and argillite.
In 1991, he was named hereditary Chief of Dadens on Haida Gwaii and held a highly anticipated Potlatch, a representation of high status within his family ancestry. Presently, Carmen resides in Vancouver but keeps a strong connection with his relatives living in Massett.
Carmen’s distinctive style embodies depth, dimension and a traditional style that surpasses most. For these reasons his jewelry pieces and masks are sought-after by many collectors of Northwest Coast First Nations artwork.