Argillite & Copper Bears Box

Material: Argillite & Copper

Dimensions: 4.5 inches tall by 3.75 inches long by 2.25 inches wide

Design:  The top of the box is illustrating a bear giving salmons to her cub. The box have two bears and two salmons on the top and bear carving in copper all around the box.

About Argillite 

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 heats 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.

Once this stone was found by Haida artists its true transformation began.

About the Artist

Ding Hutchingson is born to the Raven Clan of Skedans, Haida Gwaii, Haida artist Ding Hutchingson learned to carve from his uncle, Chief of Skedans. His crests are the mountain goat, grizzly bear, two finned killer whale, and moon. Ding has been carving for more than 45 years. He has developed exquisite details, unique forms and expression of Haida designs. His pieces represent the best of Haida design and workmanship. Ding's work in metal is widely recognized for his use of negative space. By utilizing cutouts he is able to create beautiful silhouettes of Haida crests.

Variation

Each argillite carving is made by hand. Please expect some minor variation. This craftsmanship is what makes your piece truly unique.

Haida Designs

In Haida culture, the meanings of designs and symbols are in context of oral histories passed down through generations. 

Some stories have been 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 beyond Haida Gwaii. We hope you enjoy. Haawa (thank you).