Category: Commision

Large “Killer Whale Totem”

Introducing the newest monumental work by Preston Singletary to be cast in lead crystal, “Killer Whale Totem”. Stay tuned for updates of this exceptional project as we follow the progress from this early stage to the final work.

Introducing the newest monumental work by Preston Singletary to be cast in lead crystal, “Killer Whale Totem”.  Following the success of the “Family Story Totem”, this large totem pole features Singletary’s clan crest (Killer Whale) in the center, his moiety (Eagle) on top, and a thunderbird in the center that represents David Svenson, the carver of the wooden pole. At the bottom are soul catcher forms flanking human faces.

At nearly 8 feet tall the “Killer Whale Totem” will weigh close to 3,000 pounds when complete. Created in a very limited edition of three totems total, each will be in a different color. A mold will be crafted from the wood model and then used to cast the piece in lead crystal. This monumental totem will be cast in the Czech Republic and is projected to take twelve months to complete. The wood model to create the first of the series has recently been sent to the Czech Republic.

Stay tuned for updates of this exceptional project as we follow the progress from this early stage to the final work. 




“Killer Whale Totem” - Carved Wood Model



Learn more about the “Family Story Totem”, the first in the completed series of large scale totems by Preston Singletary.

Learn more about the smaller "Killer Whale Totem" in lead crystal, the first of which was recently completed. 

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New Photos from the Walter Soboleff Center at Juneau, Alaska


Presenting the finished Clan House glass screen and house posts at the Walter Soboleff Center in Juneau, Alaska. Thanks to the Sealaska Heritage Institute for the image and the commission.

The screen shows a stylized Northwest Coast design and is made of sandblasted glass. On the left stands an Eagle warrior; while on the right stands a Raven created in a dark charcoal color.

This screen measures approximately 11.5 feet high by 16 feet wide and weighs over 1000 lbs. It's created with 28 glass panels, 28 plexiglass panels, and over 200 custom made mounting bolts.


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Behind the Scenes: The Screen at The Walter Soboleff Center, Juneau, Alaska

New photos of the Soboleff Screen process!

Our friend and photographer Russell Johnson documented the first stages of the production of the screen for the Sealaska Heritage Insititute's Walter Soboleff Center in Juneau, AK. 

All photographs are copyright Russell Johnson.  Please ask permission for use.



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RAVEN AND THE BOX OF KNOWLEDGE: Preston Singletary for Pendleton

Preston Singletary was commissioned to create the 2011 American Indian College Fund Blanket for Pendleton Woolen Mills.

In March of this year, Pendleton Woolen Mills unveiled their newest blanket in their American Indian College Fund Series.  Raven and the Box of Knowlege was designed by Preston Singletary.

From Pendleton’s website:  ”This intriguing blanket is based on a work by internationally renowned glass artist Preston Singletary. Mr. Singletary grew up in the Pacific Northwest – both of his great-grandparents were full-blooded Tlingit Indians. His works explore traditional images and legends of his Tlingit heritage translated into glass. The image on this blanket represents Raven, a shape shifter and trickster who often employed crafty schemes to achieve his goals. In the story, the old chief who lived at the head of the Nass River kept his precious treasures – the sun, the moon and the stars – in beautifully carved boxes. Raven steals the light, and making his escape carries the sun in his mouth. The sun is a metaphor for enlightenment or knowledge. The ombred background shades meet in the center in vibrant colors of sun and light. Mr. Singletary’s artworks are included in museum collections from the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC to the Handelsbanken in Stockholm, Sweden. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Seattle Art Museum. A portion of the proceeds from this blanket will be donated to the American Indian College Fund to help support tribal colleges. Unnapped. Felt-bound. 82% pure virgin wool/18% cotton. Dry clean. Made in the USA. 64 x 80 inches.”

Click here to order one for yourself!

American Indian College Fund
The American Indian College Fund raises money for 32 tribal colleges that serve 30,000 students representing 250 native tribes. The fund disburses approximately 5,000 scholarships annually for American Indian students seeking to better their lives through continued education. The tribal colleges play a vital role in the futures of Native American people, our country and, ultimately, people everywhere. For over 100 years, Pendleton Woolen Mills has maintained a mutual respect for our original customers, Native Americans. That is one of the many reasons we are pleased to support this important philanthropic partnership. When you purchase any blanket from our American Indian College Fund Collection, a portion of the proceeds goes to help tribal colleges throughout the country. To find out more about the American Indian College Fund, call 1-800-776-3863, or visit

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New commission installed at Seattle University!

Last Friday, July 8, Preston and his friend/colleague Joe Benvenuto installed his latest commission at the A&A Building at Seattle University.  You can see it on the new building at 12th Avenue and Marion Street on Capitol Hill.

From the future plaque, to be dedicated in September:

Preston Singletary (Tlingit, b. 1963)
Transformations, 2011
7.5 feet x 5.5 feet
Water jet-cut aluminum, powder coated enamel, water jet-cut flat glass, and steel
Commissioned by Seattle University
This piece is an abstract composition that highlights the flow of the lines, shapes, and methodical patterning within the Northwest Coast design system known as formline.  These design elements have been used for centuries by the culture to represent the natural world in carved and painted objects.

Here, the shapes and lines are showcased in a monumental fashion, removed from the traditional figurative portrayals of animals; this serves to highlight the concept that these elements are at the root of the design system and show that their power and beauty transcends representational composition.

The colors of this piece are derived from the traditional palette of Northwest Coast art: red and black. The yellow and blue come from the Chilkat weaving tradition, and are inspired by natural plant- and mineral-based pigments, which are used by the peoples of the Northwest Coast.

In addition to his Northwest Native cultural heritage, Singletary derives inspiration from decorative and modern art from the 1930s and 1940s, Primitivism and contemporary art.

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