Old Massett Gallery

This is the last of my posts from our trip to Haida Gwaii and Old Massett to attend a potlatch. As you can see from my series of photos, it was a great trip and we crammed a lot into just four days. As is so often the case on a trip somewhere, shopping intervenes. Given all the Haida art that we have seen, how could it be possible to not visit gift shops on the island? In Old Massett the best place we found to shop was Sarah’s Haida Art and Jewelry. I did not take photos inside, but it is packed with arts of many kinds from prints and woven hats and clothing to gold and argillite jewelry and much more. The exterior is also wonderful and worth of a post.

What did we purchase, you may be wondering. We bought a doll sized wooden hat block or hat mold which was carved by Gene Bell – it was sold as a pendant or key chain decoration but is a miniature of the larger ones used by the Haida to shape their cedar and spruce root hats.  Since a few days after our return my partner was off to a First Nations hat making workshop it seemed lucky to find a small hat block. She took it along on that course and used it to make a hat for her dolls. It is the first twined hat she has made, but it came out pretty well. I expect that more will follow – you can see the hat block in use, and the resulting doll hat here. And this web page shows full sized molds in use to make Haida hats.

According to her website (linked above) Sarah’s front door was carved by Reg Davidson, son of her late husband, Claude Davidson. It does not say who painted the house front, or carved the pole in front, but I am guessing probably Claude Davidson who also was an accomplished artist.


Entrance to store




Next door is the sad sightof a burned out Haida house frame. The story we were told was one of young travellers from Europe staying overnight and drying their wet clothing on a stove which caught fire. They must have felt awful.


Canon 5Dii, Nikkor-N (pre-ai) 24mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 640, various exposures. Tone mapped from single images.


12 thoughts on “Old Massett Gallery

    • Thanks James! I had not thought of it as a style, but it is a natural progression from some of the black and white I have done in the past – in fact the change occurs within this Haida Gwaii series which includes some softer but quite contrasty pole details at the Museum in Skidegate, and ends up here.


    • I hope it has not been too rough on your eyeballs! Some of this texture is pretty grainy, so to speak. I am very pleased that you have enjoyed this series. Tomorrow we return to Victoria, and you get to see my first efforts at HDR too, in monochrome.


    • Thank you so much Karen, your comments are very much appreciated.
      Teeth to the forefront can be a bit typical of bears! Details of these poles are fascinating to me, so many beautiful sculptures within the larger whole.


  1. This is most definitely one of my favourite of this series Ehpem. What a beautiful building and pole, I’ve never seen anything quite like this. Thank you for sharing your amazing visit to this magical place.


    • Thank you Mrs. Toad. I am glad you have been enjoying the trip. I have a lot of pleasure putting the series together, not quite as much as the trip itself, but lots of added fun on top of the trip.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: