Johnny was born in Dillingham and grew up in Sitka, Alaska. Johnny Avatock became a silversmith when he was young and although of Aleut heritage, he was well known for his Tlingit carving designs.
He studied under Lincoln Wallace and other craftsmen at Alaskan Indian Arts Inc., in Haines in the 1960s. Avatock was involved in carving the door of the Governor’s office as well as the world’s largest totem pole in Kake.
“Chipping,” done in the background, was a hallmark of his work.