Caught Between Now and Then: The American Totem

Project for my carving class- the requirement was to make
a carved relief in wood.

This is made from one block of 3"x3" Basswood- not ideal for a relief. So, I cut it straight in half, joined the sides, and glued it together to make one 6"x6" panel- which is what caused the dark line in the center of the head. After setting overnight, I took the clamps off, drew my design, and attacked the wood with a dremel to remove the largest portions of mass. Once I had the rough cut done, I used chisels and other hand tools to carve the details and texture.

The Native American totem design was fine for class, but it really doesn't stand on its own as an independent sculpture. You'd never see it in a gallery... it needs a body!

This is a rough sketch in ceramic water clay- made it last night in about 3 hours. Once it's touched up, I'll make a one part plaster waste mold of this figure, then cast a gel layer in Bondo reinforced with fiberglass. It'll be hollow and tough as nails, and it'll all hang on the wall.

I've never really pegged myself as a feminist artist- I'm not an activist, I don't go to protests or meetings or read femme lit or anything like that... but for some reason my sculpture keeps moving in that direction. I like the idea of a strong male symbol on a female figure. I've got plans for another piece like this with a Batman head. What do you think?


Enjah said...

Intriguing concept and execution!