What inspires sculptures?

Sculptures are produced out of complex and diverse sets of beliefs that reflect aboriginal understanding of the universe. They usually depict deeply symbolic scenes and stories.

Are there restrictions to shipping carvings internationally?

Canada: Restrictions apply to exporting sculptures containing whalebone and or ivory to the United States and some other parts of the world (with the exclusion of caribou antlers which do not fall under this restriction). Please check with your Customs and border services.

United States: U.S. Congress passed the Marine Mammal Protection Act (1972) to restrict harvesting of marine mammals in U.S. waters and importation of such and or related products into the U.S, with certain exemptions including Alaskan native’s rights to harvest for subsistence and maintenance of culture. It is illegal for U.S. residents to import ivory and or whalebone from outside of the U.S.

Other countries have specific regulations regarding importation of ivory and whalebone. Please check with your customs and border services to avoid the unpleasantness of having your product seized and additional penalties imposed on you.

Northern Expressions will complete all paperwork required for international shipping so that your pieces should not normally be delayed by customs. However, carvings made with ivory and or whalebone materials will be seized if those materials are restricted in your country. Where such restrictions apply, we encourage you to choose from our valuable selection of Inuit carvings made without these materials. We are happy to help with this process.

How should I take good care of my sculpture?

Most rocks are subject to abrasion. Careful handling is therefore the most basic way to maintain your sculpture’s appearance over time. Humidity control is also important especially if materials such as bone, leather and sinew are used in creating the piece. Regular cleaning with soft, non-abrasive cloth will remove dust and maintain the gloss. Chipped pieces should be professionally restored.

How much is my art worth?

Determining the value of your art requires the skill of a professional art appraiser.
Contact us for more information.

My art is damaged, what can I do?

It is always advisable to seek expert advice in the unfortunate occurrence of damage to your piece of art.
Contact us and we will be happy to help.

What rocks are used for sculptures?

Carvers utilize various kinds of rocks in creating stone sculptures, the choice of rock often depends on local availability. Characteristics such as texture, durability, and colour are other important considerations in artists' choice of rock.

Commonly used rocks include Soapstone, Serpentine, Argillite and Marble. Although the rock contributes to the uniqueness of sculptural pieces, the popularity and skill of the carver remain the most important determinants of value.

Soapstone, a kind of malleable metamorphic rock is commonly associated with Inuit sculpture. It is more easily carved and occurs in different shades of brown, green and white. When polished it appears as a dull, smooth surface. Soapstone is still the preferred rock among many carvers in Nunavik, Northern Quebec.

Who is Sedna?

Sedna is an important character in Inuit mythology. It is the myth of a young woman who thrown into the sea, became a goddess and gave birth to all the animals of the sea. Hunters who wish to be successful seek her benevolence. Inuit artist often depict her as a mermaid with long flowing hair and piercing eyes.