robert dane shaw, instructor


Robert Dane Shaw

The senior fellow in the 2015-16 Exnihilo Residency program, Dr. Robert Dane Shaw has a bio the spans several decades, educational institutions, affiliation, international commissions and a diversity of techniques and styles that will take your breath away. We are pleased that he has joined the SilverWorks team as an instructor and are thrilled to take advantage of his wealth of knowledge in the metal arts!

Serving as the state’s Archeologist for Alaska, Bob’s love of history, origins and objects intersected with his life as a metalsmith. His work regularly combines technique in order to explore greater outcomes.

In spite of his long list of degrees listed below, as an instuctor Bob is like a big approachable teddy bear excited to impart any info his students care to learn.

Robert Shaw


1983 Ph.D., Anthropology/Archaeology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA.

1979 Graduate, National Wildlife Refuge Management Academy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Beckley, WV.

1975 M.A., Anthropology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA.

1967 Professional Certificate in Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

1966  B.S., Industrial Education and Earth Sciences, East Texas State University, Commerce, TX


1999-2013  Private consultant in Alaskan Native art, anthropology and archaeology.  Pres., Robert Shaw Enterprises. 

Major clients:

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

Alaska Railroad

Regional Alaskan Native corporations and tribal entities

National Science Foundation

Several independent oil and gas exploration companies

1986-99  State Archaeologist; Chief of History and Archaeology, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer.  Office of History and Archaeology, Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, Anchorage, AK.  

1986-91  Affiliate Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks. 

1982-86  Chief of History and Archaeology, Alaska Archaeological Survey, Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys.  Chair, Alaska Department of Natural Resources library policy task force; DNR liaison to the U.S. Department of Interior, Arctic Resources Library (1985-88).

1980-81  State Historic Preservation Officer; Chair, Governor’s Historic Sites Advisory Committee; Chief of History and Archaeology, Office of History and Archaeology, Alaska Division of Parks.

1978-80  Research Archaeologist; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Interior.

1972-78  Research Associate and Teaching Assistant, Department of Anthropology, Washington State University.  Taught a summer archaeological field school and a course in prehistoric ceramics.

1966-71   Meteorologist; U.S. Air Force.  Rank - Captain.


1980-2013  Instructor; occasional workshops in silversmithing, tool making for crafts jewelers, cabochon stone cutting, knife making, wood carving, carving tool sharpening, Tlingit/Eskimo style crooked knife blade making and hafting.

2012 Instructor, Nuchiiq Native Youth Spirit Camp, sponsored by Chugach Alaska Regional Corporation, Anchorage, AK. 

2007 Technical Merit Award, Rock-Paper-Sissors, Alaska Metal Arts Guild Show, Fairbanks, AK, Dec.

2009 Commission, bronze memorial portrait plaque of Chief Gary Kompkoff of Tatitlek Village, sponsored by Chugach Regional Corporation, Anchorage, AK.

2005 Instructor, Metals Program, Art Department, Univ. of Washington, Seattle.  Taught “Topics in Metal” (Art 358) & “Independent Study “ (Art 460) as a sabbatical replacement for Prof. Mary Lee Hu.

2004 Caribou transformation mask and carved stone argillite pendant. Art Faculty Exhibit; University of Alaska Anchorage 50thAnniversary Show at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, AK.

2004 “Jacob the Whale.” A 3x5ft carved wood and granite wall sculpture as background to a 2ft wooden whale commissioned by consultants Liebman and Associates, Washington, DC.

2003 “Chugach Sunrise.”  A commissioned 6X12 ft carved wood and marble wall panel.  Municipality of Anchorage Public Art Collection housed at Chugiak Senior Center.

2003Instructor, Basic Lapidary Techniques for Metalsmiths.  3 day workshop at University of  Alaska Fairbanks, sponsored by the Alaska Metal Arts Guild.

2002Instructor, Inupiaq Mask Carving (with Joe Senungetuk, Native Artist). Exxon-Mobil Master Artist Series, Alaska Native Heritage Center, 8800 Heritage Center Drive, Anchorage, Ak.

2000-08  Traditional tool replications commissioned by Chugachmiut Regional Corporation, Anchorage, AK – including Chugach and Athabaskan copper dagger forms, atlatl (throwing boards – including several workshops and use demonstrations), stone splitting adzes, goat horn spoons (for traditional Native educational  curriculums). 

1999Commission, eight full size prehistoric petroglyph replicas for Wrangell Petroglyph Historical Park for State of Alaska, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation in cooperation with the local Tlingit tribe for installation on a viewing platform overlooking the originals plus 50+ other prehistoric carvings to allow reproduction rubbings by the public without degrading the originals.

1999Commission, bronze medal of Tatitlek Village seal as an awards medal (20 copies) to be awarded at the discretion of the village Council.  Tatitlek Village IRA Council.

1999-2009  Instructor, Tatatlik Village Traditional Native Heritage Camp.  Various topics taught each year, in metals, wood and ivory carving, printing and traditional tool making such as atlatls and  stone adzes.

1998Commission, frontispiece drawing honoring Chicago Field Museum Curator James Van Stone for Arctic Anthropology magazine, Vol.35-2

1998Commission, three wildlife sculptures carved as original graphite molds for glass casting, Alaska Glass Art, Anchorage, Alaska.

1998Commission, salmon and halibut sculptural mold masters for Thebroma Chocolates, Sitka.

1997Commission, multimedia fabrication of Southcentral Foundation logo for display as a wall plaque in the Primary Care Facility of the Alaska Native Hospital.

1996Commission, design and production (35 bronze castings) of Alaska Anthropological Association Career Achievement Award.  All phases of production including design, sculpting a master, molding, wax multiples, casting, finishing and patina).

1996Logo design for Alaska Anthropological Association letterhead and newsletter.

1993-2000  Instructor, traditional Eskimo mask carving; Continuing Education Dept., University of Alaska Anchorage.  (Taught with Joe Senungetuk, Native artist).

1996One man show (sculpture, jewelry, knives, drawings), Fuzzy Image Arts, Seattle, WA.

1997Judge, Fur Rendezvous Fine Arts Show.

1995-96Member, Anchorage Public Art Committee (Mayoral appointment)

1992-97Served on several 1% Public Art selection juries for municipal construction projects.

1992Entrant, Rocky Mountain Carver’s Cup juried wildlife art show, Orem, Utah, in realistic wood carving -- multiple fish sculpture entitled “Hide, Fly or Die.”

1989-94Entrant and successive blue ribbon winner in several categories of Anchorage Fur Rendezvous competitive wood carving and knife making shows.

1981Entrant, Earth, Fire and Fiber juried art exhibit, Anchorage Museum of History and Art -- silver and carved stone (argillite) pendant.

1973-2013  Jewelry design and fabrication, silversmith and stone cutter.