Spirit Bear Studio

Artists—not craftmen...  Heirlooms—not souvenirs

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Sammy and Laura Long produce a wide range of art objects in their Spirit Bear Studio:

  • Bronze and stone sculptures in portrait and bas-relief

  • Wood bas-relief

  • Striking tables and benches made to order

  • Other artful furnishings

Sammy and Laura Long work in their Pacific Northwest Spirit Bear Studio in the San Juan Islands. Sammy is a sculptor specializing in expressive portrait busts and full figure bronzes,  and also sculpts in stone. While living in Southern California, Sammy had access to facilities to sculpt abstract and allegorical metal art, but found his niche in bronzes. He is drawn to the American Plains Indians and this is reflected in many of his works. But his portfolio also includes pieces such as La Femme, a simple, elegant nude torso and The Honey Bear, a delightful quick portrait of a bear discovering honey in a downed log.

Sammy says "I always attempt to put an emotional tug into my art. I want it to be arresting, if only for a moment, and then I know it has done its job as art. Remember that true art is more than beauty - it can also make us uncomfortable. If art arrests you, if only for a moment, it is speaking to your unconscious."

Laura does bas-relief carvings, and designs furniture intended to serve as objects of art. Her work shows influences of Northwest Indians and the Orient. Many of her pieces are in the "natural edge" genre where the beauty of the grain and shape of the wood are allowed to be the points of interest. Laura uses many of the woods native to the Pacific Northwest such as Port Orford cedar, western maple, and madrone. Sapele imported from Africa is her go-to species when the design demands a dark color wood. Laura revealed that her designs are inspired by lines and patterns she sees in architecture more often than any other source.


Sammy Long (M.A., M.S.) had successful careers in education and as a writer of documentaries and training films when he discovered his keen interest in sculpture. Dropping everything and enrolling in the Sculpture Department of San Diego State University, he took all available classes, and studied figure sculpting with Jesse Dominquiz and metal work with Jerry Dumalo. He then began studies at Scottsdale Artist School, and learned advanced sculpting from Lincoln Fox, Tuck Langland and Eugene Daub, and stone carving with the renowned Fred X. Brownstein. After moving to the San Juan Islands to a home on the Salish Sea overlooking Vancouver Island and the Olympic Peninsula, he and two helpers built the Spirit Bear Studio where he works happily on his creations, daily.

Laura Long had a career as Assistant Vice Chancellor Business Services at the University of California San Diego and then as a specialist in higher education performance measurements. She had a life-long interest in working with woods and started to go down that path about 35 years ago when she had the opportunity to study carving with European chisels with a sculptor while on a month's sabbatical in Bandon-By-The-Sea, Oregon. The next obvious step was to learn how to make furniture so that carving could be incorporated into furniture and furnishings. Some of her furniture incorporates metal designs that she creates and has produced by local metal shops. She has recently acquired sand blasting equipment with the intention of introducing sand-etched glass into her benches.


The Spirit Bear Studio is open by appointment. For prices call (360) 378-4265 or email longlaura100@gmail.com


  Spirit Bear Studio
  845 Smugglers Cove Road
  Friday Harbor, WA 98250
  Phone: (360) 378-4265



Sammy: longsammy100@gmail.com