New Totem Series
1st August 2021
Introducing a new series of lead crystal totems by Preston Singletary, each one within these limited editions are cast in unique colors. The first totems from each series will be presented at Blue Rain Gallery, see a full list of galleries under the "About" section.
This is the Glass Blower totem. In the center you can see me holding a glass blowing pipe and riding a Killer Whale which is my crest symbol and represents my Tlingit family. We are nestled in an Octopus or Kraken which symbolizes the fluid nature of molten glass.
The bird figure toward the top is an Eagle which is the moiety that is my side of the Tlingit tribe. In between the Eagles wings represents my dearly departed friend, Joe Benvenuto, who was my right-hand man and close friend for over 20 years. He is shown holding a basket. It’s safe to say that without Joe’s support and friendship during the development of my career I would not be where I am today as an artist.
The top glass piece represents the sun or fire which we know is part of what sustains our lives, and for glass blowers, creates the material that we all work with. “Meditations with Fire” is my poetic title in which I have found all of my creative inspiration working alongside with and learning from other artists and glass makers.
This totem was conceptualized and designed by me and carved and collaborated on with David Franklin. David helped me realize this sculpture through collaboration and his exceptional carving skills. Each totem from this limited edition series will be cast in a unique color.
This new totem represents the coming together of my Tlingit culture and my wife’s Swedish culture. It’s a sculpture that also represents the blending of our lives together with our children. The top figure represents Åsa, my wife, and directly below her is Odin, the Norse god flanked by two ravens at the front of a Swedish style long boat. In Tlingit culture it would have been a dugout canoe.
Below Odin is our daughter Lydia’s face and below her our son Orlo. He is holding our puppy, Ori, our pet cockapoo, represented as a wolf in this sculpture (that's Ori in the background in the first photo). Åsa and I have been married for over 25 years and our symbiotic relationship has fueled my creative inspiration over this time.
Kéet is the Tlingit word for Killer Whale, which represents my main crest symbol, and the moiety of the Eagle on the top of the totem. The small figures are bears, which relate to the story of my great grandmother who, as a small girl, had a grizzly bear cub as a pet at the turn of the century in Sitka, AK. Each totem from this limited edition series will be cast in a different color.
This represents a Killer Whale, with the head down and the tail at the top. The two figures could be looked at as ancestral figures, holding a rolled back dorsal fin. If you look at the sides you can see the pectoral fin. This happens to be my clan symbol as well. All of the other details on the piece, concentric circular shapes and u-forms, are part of the traditional design style now referred to as form line. Each totem from this limited edition series will be cast in a unique color.
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