Ed Russ was born into the Eagle clan of Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands, on June 19th, 1953. Born into a family with a long line of hereditary chiefs, he took pride in his knowledge of family stories and ceremonial practices that have been passed down to him by his ancestors. His sense of tradition and culture can be found within each of his beautifully executed artworks.
Ed’s primary medium was the highly prized and difficult to carve argillite stone. Argillite is a black carbonaceous shale and is strictly found along steep cliffs in the Queen Charlotte Islands. Argillite is exclusive to the Haida people who treasure its rare slate-like quality.
Originally, he began carving with his younger brother, Gary Minaker-Russ and his cousin, Ron Russ who are both acclaimed argillite carvers and thus since 1972 devoted himself the art of Argillite carving. Ed’s attention to fine detail and traditional design while achieving a dimensional image all within a miniature format set him apart from other carvers. Today, his artwork is highly collectible and can be found in many private collections worldwide.
During his lifetime, Ed lived in Vancouver, BC, but periodically returned home to the source of his creative inspiration – the remote and timeless Islands where the ancestors’ spirits still watch over the people and artisans of Haida Gwaii.