defined by wikipedia as "a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, lineage, or tribe." the totem works are objects and paintings created to evoke the practices of ritual symbolism. today, where do totems fit into our culture? what is sacred?
turning on the lathe is a meditative process. i use the lathe and spindle turning to create small wooden totems, finding ritual in their creation and their ultimate use. some are candle holders which feature in the strongest of my contemporary rituals; the shared meal. some have been given as talismans, abstract gifts, or self foot-massage tools for others to incorporate into their own form of ritual as it serves them best.
made for a friend's bachelorette weekend as an answer to the tacky penis memorabilia which often fits into that framework. i'm not sure when plastic penis straws or weiner tiaras became emblematic of bidding farewell to the pre-marital self. we chose instead a small synecdoche necklace, a dick since she would be marrying a man, a subtle memento to meditate on the relationship she was moving forward with as well as a celebration of sexual experiences passed.
initially sketches for lathe pieces, these are often in acrylic or ink. this has since become a method to exercise abstract ideas and thoughts in a non-verbal form. the illustrated totems are themselves a ritual habitude in the process of creating something new; a mid-step in idea development.