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 Lionel Samuels created this beautifully shaped frogs/ravens argillite bowl. The lip on the top of the bowl has been carved to over hangs the opening of the bowl. The bowl has paua shell and catlinite inlays. The bowl is 8.25″ long, 4.5″ wide, ad 2″ high. Lionel was a very talented artist. He passed away in 2021 during the covid-19 crisis. The price for the bowl is $4800.

argillite frog/raven bowl

Lionel Samuels    Haida

Frog/raven bowl

Argillite, paua shell, & catlinite – 8.25 x 4.5 x 2 inches