"Art of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest Coast"

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"Orca Totem"

(acrylic on ragboard and masonite 28x33)

Original - $1,650 U.S.

The strong and majestic image of the orca is prevalent throughout the Northwest Coast. Anyone who travels to this culture rich area eagerly looks to sight a pod of killer whales in the wild. It is a very important clan crest and is a central figure in numerous stories of the "First Peoples". Among the best known is that of Natsilane and how he created the first killer whales to seek vengeance on his brothers in law who had betrayed him in a serious way.

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This detail gives you a closer look at how this piece was made. The totem is first sketched onto ragboard and then each piece is cut out by hand, sanded, primed, and painted. The totem is then reassembled on the painted masonite at various levels from the surface using custom cut spacers beneath most of the pieces. Abalone pieces or copper are also used for decoration. They are shadowbox framed using flat black or natural oak mouldings but other options could be equally effective.

These totems have a very contemporary look while owing their origins to traditional design structures. They have the appearance of paper sculptures and their appearance can vary from subtle to dramatic depending on the lighting source.

This technique is perfect for artwork needed for large home areas and corporate settings. They can be made to fit virtually any size requirements and take approximately 3 weeks to construct. Special considerations can also be made for any personal preferences. Feel free to contact me via e-mail for further information and I'll answer any questions you may have.

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