Ashevak Adla


Ashevak Adla was born on February 22, 1977 at the nursing station in Cape Dorset, Baffin Island, Northwest Territories. He is the eldest child of Kumajuk and David Adla, and the grandson of Cape Dorset carver Audla Pee.

It was his grandfather, Audla, who taught him how to carve. At the age of eleven, Ashevak used to watch Audla making birds, and soon he could not help but try out his grandfather's tools. His first pieces were simple carvings, like the heads of birds or seals, but it was not long before he ventured into depicting more intricate subject matter. Adla also learned a lot by watching Nuna Parr and his late son, Jutani, working on bears. Ashevak is firmly established as good mid-career Cape Dorset carver. He excels in representing walking and dancing bears, birds with widely open wings, and playful, carefree seals and walrus.

He carves in serpentine, a metamorphic rock that ranges in color from yellow-green to brown to black. It is a very hard stone indigenous to Baffin Island, with a composition similar to jade. Sites for finding the stone are many miles east of Dorset. Although a hard stone, in skilled hands the serpentine offers the opportunity to achieve flowing forms, lines bold and delicate, as well as glistening, elegant finishes. Ashevak tends to polish his carvings to a high degree to best exhibit the beauty of the stone.

Cape Dorset serpentine ranges in color from light yellow-green to black. Although a hard stone, in skilled hands the serpentine offers the opportunity to achieve flowing forms, lines bold and delicate, as well as glistening, elegant finishes. Sites for finding the stone are many miles east of Dorset.