Inspired by my love of totem poles, I wanted to create a sculpture that would both reflect my heritage and include my signature black and white sgraffito* work.
*Sgraffito is an Italian word that means “to scratch”. When the clay is firm to the touch, three layers of black slip are applied. As I carve through the layers of black, the creamy white clay beneath is revealed…and oh, how it makes my heart sing!
Totem Sticks are my most work yet
Historically, animal totems significant to a tribe or clan were carved into totem poles, These were often used to tell a story, illustrate a legend, identify a clan, or document tribal history.
Although totem poles are usually associated with northwestern tribes, evidence has been discovered that even Southeastern tribes, such as the Choctaw, used totem poles to identify clans. Totem sticks are my version of a totem pole for your wall.