Myles Edgars, Haida Argillite Carver
 

Argillite is a black stone that is found only on Haida Gwaii (also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands), an archipelago off the western coast of Canada. When argillite is removed from the ground it is soft enough to be carved with metal hand-tools. Once argillite dries out, though, it hardens.  Argillite is mined and carved only by the Haida.

Here are some of Myles' carving techniques:

A pattern is selected to make a pendant, then the outline is traced with a pencil onto a piece of argillite.

The pencil line is scored.

 

A jewelers saw cuts out the shape, the edges are filed, then the piece is glued to a support.

Details are drawn with a pencil.

 

The details are engraved, following the pencil lines. The carved piece is then sanded with wet/dry abrasive paper.

A hole is drilled, then a silver finding is inserted and glued in place. The finished pendant is signed and dated. 
 
For more information, see "Haida Argillite Carving," in Ornament, 2003, 26(4): 22-23. You may contact Myles at:

Box 488
Masset,
British Columbia
Canada, VOT 1M0

Links:
Haida Wood Carver, Reg Davidson
Haida Silversmith, Dave Hunter
Haida Painter, James Sawyer
Haida Cedar Bark Hat Maker, Gladys Vandal
Polish Wood Carver, Jan Piotr Ledwon
Polish Wood Carver, Czeslaw Olma
Silva Foundation Workshops in Lisbon, Portugal   
Intarsia of Granada, Spain    
Religious Sculpture in Seville, Spain  
Mexican Wood Carver, Fernando Giron Pantoja
Mexican Marquetry Box Maker, José Antonio Rodríguez
Wood Carving in Foumban, Cameroon, Africa
Abdou Mfopa 
Ga Coffins in Teshie, Ghana 
Wood Carving in Bali, Indonesia 
Horn Carving in Bali, Indonesia

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Web page, photographs, and text by Carol Ventura.