Southern Appalachian Digital Collections

Western Carolina University (21) View all

Woodcarving: patterns

  • wcu_craft_revival-6903.jp2
  • This sketch on paper was made by Amanda Crowe (1928-2004). A member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, Crowe is known for figurative wood sculptures; she was particularly known for her highly stylized, expressive bears. Crowe drew these sketches on paper and then cut them out for use as templates, so that she could reproduce popular forms. Her animal figures were then carved with a knife, filed, and sanded to a smooth finish. In 1980, Crowe was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Born and raised in the Panther Town community on the Qualla Boundary, she started drawing and carving at the age of four. She later earned a scholarship to study at the Art Institute of Chicago where she received a Master of Fine Arts degree. She also studied at the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. After twelve years away from home, Crowe returned to Cherokee to teach art and woodcarving at Cherokee High School. She taught over 2,000 Cherokee students over the course of almost 40 years. In 2000, she was the recipient of a North Carolina Folk Heritage Award.