A self-taught and accomplished craftsman, North Carolina native Bill Radford discovered his real passion was carving soapstone and shell after he began carving wood in the early 1980s. Whether it’s a knife with a custom carved handle, a ceremonial pipe or a small shell hummingbird, Radford puts his heart and imagination into each traditional piece. That’s evident from the pounds of sawdust and shavings that litter his back-yard shop in his pursuit of the “perfect” carving. He even uses hand tools that he made himself to create his original works that each includes his “little feather” signature.
Radford’s work has been featured in museum collections, library displays and has won blue ribbons at Pow Wow craft competitions and the Cherokee Indian Fair. Currently he is working on patterns for new carvings as well as researching traditional designs to include in his new work.
As a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc., Radford cherishes meeting new people and talking about Indian arts and crafts. The Cherokee, North Carolina resident also finds great pleasure and peace in the woods seeking that perfect piece of wood to be made into a unique cane or walking stick.
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Some of Bill’s newest work: