Regarding Totem Poles:
I have been mulling over ideas for glass totem poles for at least 2 or 3 years.
I created the idea of the glass animal and pet totems that I custom make from a customer's photographs.
I would love to see a full size mountain animal totem pole erected in my town and maybe some day I can get a grant or funding for a public art installation of one.
So, when one of the logs we carried home recently had a couple of sections that were of decent size in diameter and pretty darn straight I decided to take advantage. Keeping in mind that I wanted to be able to carry this piece easily to shows.
We cut a length about 32" then cut a flat face for most of the length on one side to apply the glass to. I mulled over some ideas of what should be on my totem pole and looked at images online every evening. I had originally imagined it with wild animals similar to what I have done in a smaller scale in the past. But the faces I found online really took me to the crux of what I wanted - raw, bold colors and shapes.
I sketched out some faces and an eagle body. Then I cut the glass to fit the shape of the wood. Many traditional totem poles have an eagle or "thunderbird" on top. In this vein, I drew out an eagle head and wings. The glass will be applied in segments with the head and wings added on in a unique way. You will see as this progresses how it all comes together.
Working on a flat surface as opposed to the artists and craftsmen that carve into the wood was more of a challenge than you might think. It's hard to get the feeling of depth and shadow on a flat surface. I am hoping the shading stage of my painting gets that feeling across.
For now, here is a taste of one of the segments in the making--
I should be finished with this totem in time to have it at my booth at the Art on the Lake show in Big Bear this coming weekend. I will post more progress and finished pics here, but if you are nearby please come and let me know what you think. Maybe this piece will speak to you or I can make another one that suits you.