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Material: Argillite, Sterling Silver
Dimensions: 1.7 x 1.6 x 0.3 inches (43.18 x 40.64 x .762 mm)
Design: The two finned killer whale is a supernatural killer whale and a crest in the Haida culture. Orcas represent intelligence and community. They travel the ocean in groups. It's believed that they have their own society in the ocean.
Argillite is a black stone that is geologically classified as slate. The argillite from Haida Gwaii is found on one mountaintop and is protected by the Haida Nation as a stone exclusively carved by the Haida people.
This stone’s geological formation makes it unique compared to argillite found elsewhere. Exposure to high heat allowed this argillite 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.
Made by Haida Artist Melanie Russ:
Melanie Russ is the daughter of the late Haida artists Faye Russ and Ed Russ, and is originally from Skidegate, Haida Gwaii.
Her father began teaching her to carve when she was a very young girl, and though he passed away some time ago she expresses the feeling that he is still with her, guiding her, reminding her to look at the rough argillite, then to close her eyes and a design will come. Her late mother Faye was also instrumental in her education as an artist and was a potent influence in her creative process, often working on sculptures together. Her work is a depiction of the classic iconography of her Haida lineage.
Melanie is one of few women Haida carvers and is known for her intricate detail in jewelry and carvings.
Please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any inquiries. We look forward to attending to your needs with the utmost care and attention to detail.