Cree artist Justin Rivard was born in Nanaimo on October 11, 1964. In 1985, Rivard’s father introduced him to native artist Ray Dumont who suggested he start carving. Rivard took him up on the offer, and began researching his ancestral roots, working in art galleries and spending time in the library analyzing different styles.
Through the 1990s, Rivard found a niche as a jewellery known for making unusual pieces from silver, such as lighter cases and business card holders, as well as some of the lesser seen objects such as cuff links, tie bars and money clips. His Spirit Beads have been exceptionally popular, as they fit the ever popular Pandora and Troll bracelets, and can also be worn with pendants, alone, or even on hair wraps.
Rivard’s work is clean, consistent and generally crafted from a thicker gauge of silver than most artists use. Pendants and rings with semi-precious gem stones are marveled at by collectors and other artists alike. Rivard has also applied oxidation to pieces, giving them an antiqued quality, and has created many beautiful overlay pieces.
Rivard works in both silver and gold, and silver & gold combinations. If you would like to custom order a piece, please contact us.
14K Gold Eagle Spirit Bead by Justin Rivard
Eagle represents vision, peace, friendship and prosperity. Eagle feathers are very sacred, and are used in ceremonies. Eagles are commonly depicted with Salmon, as they have excellent fishing skills. As Eagles are unable to release their talons mid-flight, they have been known to drown if they choose too large and powerful a fish to grab onto. Eagle is very noble and is often described as having a moral conscience in Legend. Eagle Down is cherished and highly valued for use in ceremony.
In Haida society, one is born to either the Eagle or the Raven clan. Each clan carries a number of crests, some of which are shared, and some of which are exclusive. As one must always marry outside of their clan, Eagle and Raven together represent love.
Eagles are depicted with a short curved beak, and sometimes have an appendage on the head. When Eagle has an appendage, he is easy to confuse with Thunderbird – but Thunderbird’s appendage is curled on the end, making it quite distinct and recognizable.
Cheryl Shearar Understanding Northwest Coast Art (2000)
Campbell River Museum & Archives