Availability: Only 1 available
14K White Gold, Engraved
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Only 1 available
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One of life’s most rewarding experiences is collecting fine art, and sometimes it’s best to take a little more time to make these acquisitions with ease. We understand and want to do everything possible to make collecting your next artwork more comfortable. At Coastal Peoples Gallery, we offer an interest-free layaway program and offer flexible terms which can be customized to your individual needs.
*Ring shown may be able to be resized and it takes up to 10 business days approximately to size either up or down (no more than 2 sizes). Note: not every ring can be resized. Please contact us for more details on resizing, and artists available for new ring commissions.
- Additional Information
- Artist Bio
14K White Gold, Engraved
James McGuire was born in Queen Charlotte City, near the Haida Village of Skidegate on September 27th, 1953. From early childhood he displayed an astonishing artistic ability and spent many hours watching his maternal uncle Edmund Calder carve both wood and argillite. As a member of the Stastas Eagle clan from Skidegate, his grandmother is Mary Tulip who was the eldest niece of famed Haida carver Charles Edenshaw.
James spent many hours watching fine old Haida craftsmen carving in argillite, including his older brother, the late Patrick McGuire. The beauty and perfection of their work made a deep impression him and he was soon carving the precious slate himself. He faithfully included the ancient Haida figures on the totems, but interpreted them in his own unique style.
Carving in argillite was not enough to satisfy the creative urges of this amazingly talented young man. By 1970, James was carving on his own, which was subsidized by employment in the forest industry. In 1976, he moved to Vancouver where he learned to engrave jewelry in both silver and gold. For the most part he learned through books, museums, and from renowned Haida artist Gerry Marks who taught James how to temper and make his own tools from tempered steel.
In 2005, James attended two Haida art design seminars lead by master artist Robert Davidson and, upon completion, was presented with a certificate entitled “Being successful is no accident”. He proudly hangs this certificate in his workshop.
James’ abstract style beautifully captures the light, and his designs are always unique even though the composition remains within the perimeters of traditional Haida form lines. This practice results in pieces that stand amongst the finest in the world of Haida art. His engraved jewelry, with their elegant lines and strict attention to detail, makes each completed piece a work of art and a coveted collector’s item. James is acknowledged to be one of the most outstanding Haida artists of this new century.
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Price upon request
Sterling silver, Engraved
The Supernatural Log is more commonly referred to as Snag or Ts’Amos (Alternate spellings: Ttaamuus, Tsamaos). He is the personification of the seafaring Haidas’ obstacles while on the ocean in canoes; driftwood or deadheads. The Snag is an amorphous supernatural creature both in artwork and in legend and first appeared as a crest figure of families along the Skeena River. It is believed to have first appeared on jewelry designs by the famed Charles Edenshaw, whose father took the Snag as a crest.
A Snag can vary in appearance, much like the driftwood it imitates, but it almost always has a snag (deadhead) for a dorsal fin. It can be as simple as a dead log with a tail that can swim against the current. It can be a huge sea lion with dorsal fins and blowholes, or an enormous grizzly bear with a downturned mouth like a dogfish. It can be a hybrid of bear and Killerwhale, or raven and Killerwhale, with multiple bodies. It can be a large frog covered in seaweed with a snag sticking out of its back, and can even be a canoe or a schooner. Most visible at the change of tides, the Snag, if angered can breach and land on canoes, smashing them to bits. He also can make huge waves to capsize boats. The Snag was frequently featured as a protective figure on Bentwood Boxes that contained treasured artifacts, and is frequently depicted with Raven, its counterpart.
The Snag is a very important feature in the Haida legend of How the World Was Formed. Before there was the world as we know it, Raven was flying and flying and flying, and finally came to rest on a single rock, which was the tip of Haida Gwaii and the beginning of the world. This rock, was supported beneath (from the undersea world) by a stone house pole, which was in fact the fin of the Snag. It is therefore common to see the Raven and Snag in conjunction in Haida art. The Snag figure can be seen as an acceptance of responsibility for supporting the world, similar to the Atlas figure in Greek mythology.
It is believed the legends around the Snag was a warning for those who travelled by canoe to be more wary of their surroundings, especially at the change of the tides, and keep them alert on the water. When the tides change, deadheads and hidden logs or obstacles can suddenly appear and be a danger. As the Haida relied on trade with Mainland Nations to survive, it was pertinent for them to be adept at sea, paddling the vast distances to and from the islands to the coast.