Writing with Fire

Master carver and award-winning sculptor, Bill Shinn takes great joy in relief carving designs, scenes, and faces with his carving tools. From gun stocks, to walking sticks, to love spoons, and more, Bill applies his skill, talent, and time to every project he undertakes.  Shinn Custom Carving.

Originally from West Virginia, Bill calls East Tennessee home. As an undergraduate at Concord University, he majored in physical education and art. In 1970, Bill won a scholarship to Yale University for his artwork. Then he spent a year as a principal and a teacher at West Virginia elementary school. Next he spent eight years teaching art and coaching soccer and wrestling in a middle school in Northern Virginia. Finally, in 1979, Bill moved to Knoxville where he worked in middle and high schools through 2014. Now as a retired school teacher, he enjoys rendering his client’s designs in wood and other mediums. In addition, he has held many workshops on carving the “Spirit Man” at Arrowmont School of Crafts and Designs in Gatlinburg, TN and at the Tennessee Arts Academy in Nashville, TN.

Bill Shinn has has created a one of a kind guitar utilizing the art of Pyrogravure, which is the art of decorating wood with burn marks. It is also known as wood burning or pyrography, the term means ”writing with fire,” from the Greek pur and graphos. The dots on the fretboard are inlaid with dichroic fused glass beads. The guitar, Celestial Stardust, is a Hohner AS305CE-NS Dreadnought Cutaway Natural Satin guitar and is fully playable. This is truly a priceless item that can be yours to enjoy or to give as a really unique and special gift through a silent auction to support the Tennessee Arts Academy.

To bid on Bill’s guitar, or one of the other seven, or on other unique items, go to the website: Tennessee Arts Academy Online Auction.

The Tennessee Arts Academy provides professional development, arts training, support, and encouragement to K-12 teachers and promotes the role of the arts in the lives of all Tennesseans.

Bill is an active member in Townsend Artisan Guild and participates in many of the events and functions of the Guild.    TAG is located in Townsend, TN and features work by member artisans at the Townsend Artisan Guild Gallery and Studio,

Townsend Artisan Guild Gallery and Studios
7719 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy.
PO Box 403Townsend, TN

Other Art Exhibits

  • September 7: Art and Wine, Cades Cove Cellars, Townsend
  • October 1: The Best of Townsend, Emporium, Gay Street, Knoxville
  • October 4-6: Townsend Visitor Center
  • April 24-25, 2020: 11th Annual Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival

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