Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Totem Pole ART - Part Two

The art of totem pole making was fascinating!  Here we go, for all you creatives out there!
(Part two of a four part series.)

You can see the size of this pole, inside of the rustic building built to house the artists work. Even the building is interesting! There are two totem poles in this building, one nearly finished after a two year process and one in a raw form (barely seen in the bottom left of the picture.)

Trees are meticulously sought from dense forested areas.  This is because the native carvers want trees of a certain size that do not have branches on the lower portion of the tree.  Trees that have had plenty of competition, have grown tall to reach the sun before putting out many branches, therefore the branches are higher up on the trunk.  Branches leave knot holes and are not the best fodder for a totem pole.  You can see two rather large knot holes in the side of the pole in the picture below. These were up near the top of the pole.

Native peoples waste nothing.  Here the inner bark has been stripped off and is waiting to be stripped into smaller pieces for weaving baskets etc.

Primitive tools are still used, some from whale bones or a horse jaw bone, as in the top shelf of this tool case.

Another picture for size of the pole. Our guide is standing between the finished and the unfinished poles:

This raw design is starting to take shape.  Eagles and ravens are important to the Tlingit people.  Not sure which this will be.

Look closely to see two circles, hand drawn, makings ready to guide the carver in the next section of his work.

I think that is enough for this post.  Next post will be about totem pole stories and decorations.

Stay with me, ax xoonie (my friend)! 

P.S. Tomorrow we will take a "rabbit" trail in Potlatch Park,  before returning to totem poles posts on Thursday!


Memories for Life said...

How neat to see them in process. I love that they use every piece from the tree to make something unique.

Natashalh said...

Two years! Wow.

Paige @ Little Nostalgia said...

I don't think I knew about the no branch requirement for the trees, but it makes sense!