Melanie Russ was born into the Raven clan of Skedans, Haida Gwaii, on March 12th, 1977.
Her primary medium of choice is the highly prized, and difficult to carve, Argillite stone. Argillite is a black carbonaceous shale and is strictly found along steep cliffs in Haida Gwaii Islands. Argillite is exclusive to the Haida people who treasure its rare, slate-like quality.
Russ’ teacher was her father, the late esteemed argillite carver, Ed Russ. She asserts Ed as her primary influence although Melanie was born into a family of artists and maintains that their support influenced her practice. The artist’s mother, Faye Russ, is also a known Argillite and silver carver, and some of her other notable relatives include uncle Gary Minaker-Russ and second-cousin Ron Russ; both respected Argillite carvers in their own right.
With a decade of experience, Melanie is honing her skill as one of the very few female Argillite carvers. She is recognized by her fineness of line and delicate, intricate designs. Melanie currently lives with her children in Vancouver.