From Martine J Reid’s Bill Reid Collected, p. 12
“With no one to teach him, Reid started by studying Haida objects depicted in early ethnographic publications and those displayed in museum collections. During seventeen years of intense contemplation od strong original Haida models, Reid respectfully submitted to the conventions of Haida art, “shamelessly copying,” to use his own words, the ancient stylized and semi-realistic designs by his ancestors, whose original works he credited. Taught by those silent masters, he began to unlock “the secrets of the old designs,” and to understand the artistic logic behind them.
While attending his grandfather’s funeral in Skidefate in 1954, Reid held and closely examined a pair of bracelets made by Charles Edenshaw that were “really deeply carved,” and he would later say that after that transformative encounter, “the world was not really the same.” The bracelets left an indelible impression that compelled him to refine his standards for the making of Haida art.”