Argillite

(Color: Black or diverse shades of gray / hardness 3-7 / Occurrence: Haida Gwaii BC Canada)

The Haida Nation is renowned for its beautiful "black slate" or argillite carvings. The Haida began carving argillite in response to the early curio trade of the 1820's, amongst British explorers and settlers. Soon the artistic accomplishments of the Haida in the use of materials such as wood, horn, and stone included this new medium. While argillite used to be known as a form of tourist art, it has grown to become one of the most sought after art forms in North American First Nations art. Even today, argillite continues to be carved exclusively by Haida artists both on Haida Gwaii and in the Vancouver and Victoria areas.

Corey Larocque
(Cree, Gitxsan, Haida) Corey was born on July 5,1982. Corey started carving in 2004, inspired by the artwork of prominent Vancouver Island artists, such as Russell Smith and Rande Cook. He has worked with celebrated Kwakiutl carver, Beau Dick, as well as Wayne Alfred. In recent years, he has started to create jewellery.