For approximately 200 years, Haida artists have carved argillite sculptures. Many of the older craftsmen whose activities and careers were well known have passed down their knowledge to their contemporaries in the villages of Massett and Skidegate. Some of the very best artists produce argillite carvings with the finest detail. Argillite is a slate rock found on Slatechuck Mountain near the village of Skidegate on Haida-Gwaii.

Argillite is shaped and carved with a wide range of tools. Many of the tools are hand-made. Argillite is carefully shaped with finer and finer cutting tools. Fine abrasive materials are often used to polish out tool marks. In more recent times, some artists have added inlay materials such as ivory, bone, abalone shell, paua shell, catlinite, and other materials to enhance the overall appearance of a carving.

Haida artist Jimmy Jones from Skidegate created this halibut argillite bowl. The bowl has one large abalone shell inlay. The bowl is 7.5″ log, 4″ wide, and 1.5″ high. The price for the halibut bowl is $850.

argillite halibut bowl

Jimmy Jones    Haida

Halibut bowl

Argillite & abalone shell – 7.5 x 4 x 1.5”