Born in 1969, in Skidegate, Haida Gwaii, Norman Bentley lived with his family at Swan Bay in the Southern islands of Gwaii Haanas. When he reached the early age of twelve, he started practicing Haida art and by the time he turned eighteen, he was well on his way to a successful career in Haida jewelry making.
In 1988, close friend and well-known Haida artist Bill Reid recommended Norman for an apprenticeship with world renowned master jeweler from Switzerland, Toni Cavelti whose work mixes European technique with modern design. This apprenticeship further developed Bentley’s skills and his talent as a jeweler emerged. He was quickly becoming a master of formation in precious and semi-precious metals and gemstones.
In 2001, Norman became internationally recognized when his rings were featured in the January edition of InStyle Magazine in an article titled “What’s Hot Now: 50 Must-Haves for the New Year”.
Today, Norman’s rings remain highly sought-after pieces of art for locals and visitors to Haida Gwaii alike. His unique work integrates a combination of metals, overlays and negative space with a blackened patina (aka oxidization). Because of his training as a professional jeweler, his focus is bending, shaping, melting, and soldering metal, as well as gemstone setting. These technical skills and his distinctive approach partly contribute to the uniqueness of his jewelry. In fact, his style is so recognized that his rings are often referred to and known as “Bentley Rings”. The interesting shapes that Norman’s work often forms come from the melting and bending of the metal that Norman does himself. You can truly feel this when you wear a Norman Bentley ring. Owning one of his rings is truly like owning a piece of Haida Art in miniature form.
While Norman is best known for his rings, he also produces beautiful earrings, pendants, and bracelets. He even created some stunning Salmon Egg Stud Earrings that are a staple for every look and style. They’re available in different sizes so that you can stack them if you have multiple piercings, and they’re available at affordable prices, making his work accessible for everyone.
Currently, Norman resides in Haida Gwaii, and while he still creates masterful pieces of jewelry, he also finds time to be an avid fisherman and enjoys being out on the land.
We recently partnered up with Norman to help you get the ring designs you’ve always wanted. You decide the metal, the design, the finish, everything to make your ring truly unique. Interested? You can learn more and even order your own Bentley Ring by clicking the button below.