Haida Argillite Carving: Glen Pollard’s Dog Salmon Plaque

Dimensions and Description

  • Length: 7.75 inches
  • Height: 2 inches
  • Thickness: 0.25 inches
  • Material: Argillite
  • Inlays: Three abalone shell inlays
  • Price: $290

Background and Tradition

For nearly two centuries, Haida artists have captivated art enthusiasts with their intricate argillite carvings. This tradition, rooted in the villages of Masset and Skidegate on Haida Gwaii, has been passed down through generations. Consequently, as master craftsmen shared their knowledge, contemporary artists like Glen Pollard have honed their skills, producing works with exquisite detail.

Haida artisans carve argillite, a unique slate rock found only on Slatechuck Mountain near Skidegate. This material, prized for its smooth texture and fine detail capabilities, serves as the perfect medium for Haida artistic expression.

Craftsmanship Process

Creating argillite sculptures involves several meticulous steps and a variety of tools. Initially, artists start by roughly shaping the argillite, then use progressively finer cutting tools. To achieve a smooth, polished finish, they employ fine abrasive materials to remove any tool marks and imperfections.

In recent years, Haida artists have enhanced their carvings by incorporating inlay materials. For example, they carefully add ivory, bone, abalone shell, paua shell, catlinite, and other materials to create intricate and vibrant designs.

Contemporary Significance

The tradition of Haida argillite carving continues to thrive, with numerous masterpieces produced over the past 50 years. Notably, Glen Pollard’s dog salmon plaque, featuring detailed craftsmanship and abalone shell inlays, showcases the enduring skill and creativity of Haida artists.

To learn more about Haida argillite carvings, check out the book “Argillite Art of the Haida” by Leslie Drew, which explores the history and techniques of this unique art form. Additionally, you can visit Tribal Crafts for more information and examples of Haida argillite sculptures.

argillite dog salmon

Glen Pollard   Haida

Dog salmon

Argillite & abalone shell – 7.75 x 2.1 x 0.25 inches