Crystal Cabin Featured Artist: Dutes Dutheil

Meet Dutes Dutheil, goldsmith jeweler, mineral collector, and founder of Crystal Cabin from Tlell, Haida Gwaii. 

Dutes is a self-taught jeweler, who started working professionally in jewelry-making in the 1980s. Dutes’ early works are in sterling silver. Today he works primarily in 14K gold and stone, also known as lapidary art. He has been collecting minerals and creating jewelry ever since he was a young child, even winning his first jewelry-making competition at age 12.

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What's new at Crystal Cabin! Bear Pendant made from Historical Potlach Copper

The advantage of being in Haida Gwaii, our connections with talented Haida artists and the fact that we’re artists ourselves means that we’ve got some exciting new treasures to share with you this week!    

We’re excited to share with you this Copper Bear Pendant made by George Yeltatzie of the Haida Nation.

George carved this piece with a story in mind!

The copper used for this pendant comes from a larger piece of ceremonial copper once used at a historical potlach held by the late Hereditary Chief, Reynold Russ of Old Massett. Depending on the potlach’s purpose, one or more large copper shields are given away to symbolize the wealth of a chief and their clan, and their ability to rebuild wealth after giving it away. 

Equally powerful, the bear carved in this pendant is a symbol of strength, humility and motherhood in Haida mythology.

With careful craftsmanship, George added detailed eyes of beautiful bright ocean blue and green paua shell from New Zealand and teeth of walrus tusk.

Be a part of Haida Gwaii history with this beautiful one-of-a-kind piece.

We’ve got two more beautiful pieces to debut this week. Stay tuned!