I started making totem poles to explore the idea of stacking up smaller elements to make large pieces. This has led to years of ongoing adventures with totems.
My inspiration while I work comes from my love of architecture and the awe I feel when I see the way nature stacks things up and perhaps just from playing balancing games as a child. I try to use my ‘building blocks’ to make an effortless finished totem pole.
I am captivated by all kinds of animals and I like to include them in my totem poles because they bring in feelings of playfulness and joy and their sweet faces take me to a happy place when I look at them.
My totem poles are each one of a kind creations. They encompass a full array of sizes, shapes, colors and themes. I enjoy looking for the balance that comes from putting all the elements together just right to form a graceful finished piece.
Making a totem pole is a 3 to 6 month process beginning with an idea for the theme of the pole and finishing with the final assembly of all of the separate pieces. The magic is what takes place in the middle.
Many of my totem poles are created as commissions. These custom orders accommodate special color, height or animal requests. It is always a pleasure to create just the right focal point for a specific setting or to create a totem pole that tells someone's personal story.
I invite you to contact me to explore the possibilities of a special totem for you.
My Christmas present this year from my wife, Dinah, and our good friend Alexis was truly spectacular.
Two smiling, soulful dolphins gliding through the waves whose base is a Grecian urn. This vessel is decorated with rosettes and stylized Dolphins and waves like those found in the ancient royal palace in Knossos, Crete.
It is a true masterpiece of design and execution -- a dazzling achievement by a supremely gifted and visionary artist, Thanks, Alexis, for once again making my Christmas so special! Jim
Jim with his totem