Ed Russ was born in 1953 in Masset a small community on the northern coast of Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands). He is a member of the Eagle clan of the Haida nation and his Haida name is Gitajung. His parents are Harold Minaker and Eleanor Russ.
Ed began carving argillite in 1972 and quickly became a full time artist working mostly in argillite and occasionally producing jewellery in gold and silver. His younger brother Gary Minaker-Russ began living with his brother and family while still in his mid-teens, and he soon began carving argillite under Ed’s direction. Gary is now a major argillite carver in his own right.
Ed has been included in all the major documentation on argillite carving including the books “Pipes that won’t Smoke and Coal that won’t Burn” by Carol Shehan—a catalogue of the feature argillite exhibition at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta, and “Argillite” by Leslie Drew and Douglas Wilson. His work is included in numerous museum collections including the Haida Gwaii Museum at Qay’Ilnagaay in Skidegate, British Columbia. Like most argillite carvers, he is largely collected privately and he has developed an enthusiastic international audience. Douglas Wilson, in the book argillite, accredits Ed Russ with introducing new stylistic innovations to argillite carving which is now part of his recognizable style.
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