Norman Bentley began to carve wood and explore the art of his people at age twelve. In 1988, at the age of twenty, Norman entered Vancouver's prestigious Toni Cavelti Jewellery Apprenticeship Program, and learned a wide variety of smithing techniques. Norman knew renowned Haida artist Bill Reid quite well, and completed an apprenticeship with him in the early 1990s. Norman is arguably best known for his designs containing cut-outs, which indicate the negative spaces in his work, and help to accentuate his detailed carving. He has been creating jewellery for more than twenty years.