Under the guidance of his Father, Harris Smith, Rod Smith has studied traditional Kwakwaka'wakw design forms and styles. The result of their collaboration has been a very distinct family style, also practiced by his brother, Steve. The Smith family essentially utilizes the traditional forms of their culture in a somewhat non-traditional manner.
Both father and sons produce unique sculptures in basswood, yellow cedar and alder. Their intricately painted pieces are much sought after and find homes all over the world.
Rod is most known for his detailed and elegant painting style. His works consist of sculptures, masks, poles, original paintings, plates, vessels, bowls and bentwood boxes. In 2005, Rod was featured in the 'Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation 2' exhibition that opened at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.