< Back

Family Story Totem

A Modern Creation Story by Elke Hautala

The "Family Story Totem" is a monumental project more than 5 years in the making: a 7 foot tall 3-dimensional glass totem pole. The project began in early 2009 when Preston and his longtime friend and collaborator, woodcarver David Svenson, co-designed a full-scale totem depicting a beloved family story about Preston’s great-grandmother as a child.

From designing, to carving, to casting first in plaster, then bronze, then lead crystal - this project has broken boundaries in art glass production. No other artist has attempted glass casting on this scale, with this detail, so Preston and his team have had to invent the process from the ground up.

The amber totem, the first of from a sold out edition of three, was completed and installed in 2013. The last totem from the series was completed in 2016. After the successful completion of the "Family Story Totem" series, the next project will be creating the Killer Whale Totem, also in an edition of three in kiln-cast lead crystal.

Read more about the process on our blog: Preston's Family Story Totem.

Family Story Totem, 2013 (Amber)
86 x 24 x 17 inches
Kiln-cast lead crystal

Learn more about the Killer Whale Totem, also created in lead crystal which stands at 8 feet tall.