July 8, 2011 This year, one of the most recognized carvers of his generation passed away. Russell Smith came from a great family lineage as a descendant of six chieftain bloodlines.
As a young child, he began to learn traditional dance from his elders and became a skilled perfomrance artist as well as an acclaimed wood and jewelry carver.
Born in 1950 in Alert Bay, Russell began his career in 1968 and within a year was asked by Bill Holm to assist in the restoration of a Southern Kwakiutl Long House in Seattle. He studied wood carving under the tutelage of Doug Cranmer and Larry Rosso at the Vancouver Museum.
With the encouragement of his cousin, Lloyd Wadhams, he began a lifelong passion in jewelry-making and learned the art of repousse from Bill Reid, Gerry Marks and Phil Janze.
He took on apprentices to teach select artists the various techniques used with the mediums of gold and silver. In his own unassuming and quiet way, he eagerly shared his knowledge.
Featured on this web site is his Raven Ladle (Box of Treasures exhibition), which is currently available here.
We welcome you to view more of his works and biography through our Jewelry, Sculptures and/or Artist Biographies links.