Dog Trading Company features Inuit (pronounced EE-new-EET)
sculpture in our gallery. Kent makes regular trips to Canada
and brings back wonderful Inuit art. This is an exciting area
with many talented artists, and some of the nicest people he
has met. We hope you will enjoy the creativity, spirituality,
and good humor in the work as much as we do.
some basics that may be of interest. The term Inuit has replaced
Eskimo, which is considered a derogatory term. Inuit has
long been the name these aboriginal people of northern Canada
have called themselves. They primarily inhabit coastal areas
of northern Quebec (Nunavik), the newly created territory
of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.
is an Inuit tradition dating back centuries. Stone carving
gained popularity in the late 1940's due to a few dedicated
individuals and encouragement from the Canadian government.
It was seen as both a medium for artistic expression as
well a boon for the local economies. As with many art forms,
styles have evolved and changed over the years. Early pieces
were usually representational, with more whimsy and drama
appearing over time. Naturalistic, abstract and surrealistic
animal and human forms as well as shamanic and mythological
figures appear in Inuit sculpture. Different geographic
areas have also focused on distinct styles and subject
materials used for carving include the related stones:
serpentine, serpentinite, steatite and soapstone, as well
as argillite, marble, antler, whalebone and ivory. Tools
used in the carving process range from rasps and saws to
power grinders with diamond blades. Final steps include
filing and wet sanding. A coating (often of beeswax or
candlewax) may be added to shine and protect the piece.