Material: Argillite, Paua Shell
Dimensions: 1.5 inches tall by 0.5 inches wide
Design: These feather earrings provide wisdom and protection and will support you to have a peaceful, yet strong presence.
Argillite is a black stone that formed at least 90 million years ago. This argillite is from Haida Gwaii, a remote archipelago in the northwest coast of British Columbia, Canada. This particular stone is found only on one mountaintop and is protected by the Haida Nation, an Indigenous Canadian peoples who have inhabited Haida Gwaii since time immemorial. Today this stone is carved by a small group of established Haida artists who continue to pass argillite carving skills to the next generation of young artists.
This stone’s geological formation makes it unique compared to argillite found elsewhere. Exposure to high heats allowed this stone to cool and form in a way that was strong enough to be carved, yet soft enough to take on fine carving details and sculpting. Geologically, argillite is classified as a type of slate.
About the Artist
Amy Edgars is one of few young and female Haida artists who has taken up the art of argillite carving. Born in 1987, she is from Old Massett, British Columbia, Canada and first began to carve argillite with her father, Myles Edgars who has been carving argillite for more than four decades.
Amy began carving at the age of 16. "I saw my dad and others carving every day, so I thought I better sit down and try it out," says Amy. She also acknowledges the late Haida artist Pat Wesley as an early influence in developing her carving skills.
Truly a family affair for the Edgars family, Amy, along with her brothers and their children make the lengthy trip up the mountain a few times each year to gather argillite for themselves and their father.
Please note that each argillite carving is made by hand. There will be minor variations from piece to piece. This craftsmanship is what makes your piece truly special.
In Haida culture, the meanings of designs and symbols are in context of oral histories passed down through generations.
The cultural memory of some stories were weakened or lost due to residential schooling and colonization, during which time the Haida were outlawed from practicing their language and culture. With the stories that remain, Haida elders continue to share these stories with the next generation.
Each design is created based on the artist’s unique style and their personal and familial interpretation of Haida stories.
So what’s the best way to choose a design? We encourage you to select the design that you feel most drawn to. Haida artists create these pieces to share their art and culture with people around the world, like yourself. Your purchase supports the continued development of this art form & the artists. Haawa (thank you).
Delivery notes: These earrings are made to order. Please expect two weeks for carving.