Shawn Edenshaw was born in 1982 in Vancouver to Jim Edenshaw and Janet Tait. His heritage comes from both Haida and Gitxsan, though he has taken a larger interest in learning about the Haida lifestyle.
Shawn started to carve at the age of 12. This is also when he began to take interest in the traditional songs and dances of the Haida Nation. He only carves jewelry. He started to carve on copper where he learned how to cut, shape and engrave. Once he was comfortable with how to develop a piece, he moved onto silver and then gold. Shawn’s earliest influence was his father, Jim, who is known for his one of a kind jewelry pieces as well as his design’s for button blankets. Other influences include his father’s friends like Wayne Carlick, Gary Wilson, Garner Moody, Nelson Cross, Bill Reid, and most recently Jim McGuire.
Shortly after he started carving, Shawn was introduced to Robert Davidson, and with him The Rainbow Creek Dance Group. Robert helped to expand Shawn’s learning into the song’s and dances and protocols that are used when performing the songs. The dance group gave Shawn an amazing opportunity to travel and experience different cultures, while sharing his traditions with them. It was these experiences that led Shawn to the decision to continue dancing, singing and carving using the Haida heritage and traditions.
Shawn is still carving jewelry but has taken an interest in producing works in different mediums, such as glass, wood, brass, steel as well as expanding his knowledge in copper, silver and gold. We can expect to see his style develop as he learns to manipulate these different mediums.