Amanda Crowe began carving and selling her work when she was as young as eight years old. She received a scholarship to attend the Art Institute of Chicago in 1946, where she learned how to work with multiple other materials but always came back to working with wood. After receiving her MFA, she returned to her homeland in the Qualla Boundary, where she set up a studio and began teaching classes at Cherokee High School, where over the course of 40 years she would teach more than 2,000 students. Her work as an educator helped foster a resurgence of Cherokee carving.
“The grain challenges me to create objects in three dimensions,” she explained. “A mistake or flaw in the wood will improve your design. To me, a knot can be the best part.”
Watch “Behind the Doodle: Celebrating Amanda Crowe” for more information about Amanda.