Argillite Bear Pendant by Haida Artist Glen Pollard

Product Description

Renowned Haida artist Glen Pollard from the village of Skidegate masterfully carved this exquisite argillite bear pendant. Notably, the pendant features:

  • Dimensions: 1.8″ high, 1.7″ wide, and 0.4″ thick.
  • Materials: Argillite with abalone shell inlaid eyes and deer bone teeth.
  • Price: $175.

Historical Context of Haida Argillite Carving

For nearly 200 years, Haida artists have created stunning argillite sculptures. Indeed, the knowledge and skills of older craftsmen have been passed down through generations, particularly in the villages of Masset and Skidegate. Consequently, the best Haida artists produce argillite carvings with remarkable detail, demonstrating their exceptional craftsmanship.

Argillite, a type of slate rock, is found on Slatechuck Mountain near Skidegate on Haida Gwaii. This unique material’s smooth texture and workability enable artists to carve intricate designs and patterns. Furthermore, the tradition of argillite carving is deeply embedded in Haida culture.

Crafting Process

Haida artists use a wide range of tools, many of them handmade, to shape and carve argillite. Initially, they start with coarser tools and then gradually move to finer cutting implements to achieve the desired shape. In the final steps, they polish the piece with fine abrasive materials to remove any tool marks, ensuring a smooth and polished finish.

In recent years, artists like Glen Pollard have enhanced their carvings by incorporating inlay materials such as ivory, bone, abalone shell, paua shell, and catlinite. These additions bring new dimensions to the traditional art form, adding color and texture that highlight the intricate craftsmanship. As a result, each piece becomes a unique masterpiece.

Contemporary Significance

In the past 50 years, Haida argillite sculptures have gained widespread recognition for their beauty and cultural significance. Each piece, like this bear pendant, tells a story of the Haida people’s connection to their land, history, and artistic traditions. Moreover, the inclusion of modern materials and techniques reflects the evolving nature of Haida art, seamlessly blending tradition and innovation.

For more information on Haida argillite carvings, explore “Argillite Art of the Haida” by Leslie Drew or visit dedicated websites like Tribal Crafts.

argillite bear pendant

Glen Pollard    Haida

Bear pendant

Argillite, abalone shell, & deer bone – 1.8 x 1.7 x 0.4”