I’ve been working on a set of totems in the studio to complement and enhance this beautiful backyard display I created several years ago. It was one of the first projects I created using several individual stacks to achieve an overall theme. The new pieces I'm making build on the garden elements and colors this customer loves. It’s a fun project and has given me the chance to develop some new shapes like the half-moon pictured below.
Many of the items I make require joining pieces together. Seams of clay parts are fused to create one form. Often, I'll highlight the joint with a design element to emphasize the fact that two pieces of clay were 'stitched' together. The split bowls pictured below are an example of that idea.
When I am making a few items as a set, I like to include shared elements that tie the finished piece together. On the sugar/creamer set shown below, I used the same stamp on each piece. The texture on the knob of the sugar container mimics the lip of the creamer spout. Each piece holds it's own independently, but is also made to be put together as a set.
Totems are the ultimate exercise in development of several parts to create a whole. Each stack shares a theme or color combinations to achieve a final result. The creative decisions are planned out in advance including shape, colors and sizes but the magic really happens when the full stack is combined into one unit.
It's always great to see my creations in use. I recently visited a home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where this address totem has weathered several seasons. I'm glad to see it's held up well and fits the beautiful environment to a "T" !
Do you have some pieces in mind I can put together for you? Maybe you've been wanting to decorate your own garden with a colorful clay creation. Or, you've been thinking about a special serving piece for one of your upcoming holiday recipes. I'd love to work with you to achieve your vision! Let's get started on piecing it all together!