ABOUT THE ARTIST
William Matz, the artist, was born in the town of Annville, located in the Pennsylvania Dutch country of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. Bill attended public schools in Annville and particularily enjoyed shop and art classes in which he was able to express creativity. Even when growing up as a small boy, he spent many hours in his father's workshop, measuring, sawing, and nailing boards together. After high school, he worked in construction for over ten years, beginning as a laborer, then learning carpentry, and later becoming a bricklayer. During that time, many evenings during the winter months were spent in his own basement workshop, constructing various projects for the home, for gifts, and just for fun.
Later, Bill and his family moved to Delaware where he began a 27 year career in vocational education. He was employed as a bricklaying instructor, counselor, school administrator, and for 14 years he served as State Supervisor of Trades and Industrial Education for the state of Delaware.
The home that the Matzes currently live in is the fourth home that Bill and his wife, Doris, have designed and built. The design and décor of the home reflects both of their background and creativity. Many of the furnishings in their home were designed and built by Bill, and Doris decorated their home around his woodwork and carvings.
In 1980, after receiving many compliments on their work and creativity, they were encouraged to share their art with others by exhibiting and selling at arts and crafts fairs. They have been participating in finer arts and crafts fairs and festivals, since 1981, selling furniture and decorative cutting boards which they both designed and built.
In 1991, Bill began to concentrate primarily on carving. Every year since then, he has taken carving instruction from a variety of nationally known professional carving instructors throughout Central and Eastern United States. The wood medium allows Bill to take full advantage of the unique features of each piece, and to fully express his artistic creativity and technical skills.
In 1997, Bill began to devote all of his carving time to carving in moose antlers. He has carved and studied under some of the most accomplished wood and antler carving instructors in the country, individuals who specialize in carving animals and the human form, in both relief and in the round. Using real moose antlers shipped from Alaska and Canada, Bill delicately and painstakingly carves into the bone-like antlers, and reveals three dimensional scenes and animals. The creamy white interior is in sharp contrast to the natural brown exterior of the antler. Bill is becoming known for the detail work in his carvings.
Since Bill's early retirement opportunity from education in 1991, the Matzes have broadened their market, and have participated in finer arts and crafts fairs and festivals from Florida to Washington state.
In addition to marketing his work at fine arts and crafts fairs and festivals, his moose antler sculptures are also sold in galleries. His work is currently available at Pete Engler Designs in Branson, Missouri, and at the woodworking shop at Dollywood, in Pigion Forge, Tennessee, as well as other locations around the country. Bill also shares what he has learned with others, through teaching moose antler carving classes throughout the country.