I’ve been crazily creating all sorts of totems and crab claw oddities over the last few months and thought I would share a few of them with you.

I entered a piece into an art prize in Brisbane, Queensland recently and was lucky enough to have my piece chosen to be included in the exhibition – Petite Pieces.  I’ve had the thought of totems on my mind for quite a while but have never really done anything too much about it…drawn a few rough pics, come up with a few concepts but nothing too concrete.  Petite Pieces made me think about totems and creating them small enough to suit the selection criteria of no larger than 40cm x 40cm.  I used an empty glad wrap roll and created the totem around it.  Added the mokume gane decorative slices and burnished them well into the surface of the raw clay so it was all smooth.  The black clay was then textured – each one being different.  Once the pieces were cured I then sanded them back slightly – just enough to smooth the surface but not interfere with the texture.  The bases were created last and cured by themselves and then the totems fixed into place with super glue.  Not the ideal way of creating the base and I would definitely do it differently next time but did the job.  Here’s a few pics.

I’ve also been playing around with an idea I’ve had for a while – interactive totems.  I’ve started creating components and hopefully they’ll all be able to work together in a series of totems – kinda mix and match sort of thing – with crab claws being the main theme.  Again I’ve used cardboard tubes to create the circular pieces.  I’ve created one large crab claw on a domed base so it will sit on top of other totem elements.  These are also all a work in progress and I must admit, I’ve learnt lots during the construction phase of these.  Anyway let’s just check out some pics.  The crab claws are courtesy of my son who tenderly saves them for me.

I decided to have another play around with some of the smaller crab claws in my stash. I’ve made some of these quite a while ago and included them in a canvas artwork and just found them so much fun to make.  I actually have a vision for these crab sticks – I can see a whole bunch of these pushing up out of the beach sand as an artwork.  I think I’ll just keep creating a range of these, all with the same colour theme perhaps and have fun in the sand with them.  These sticks have also got Moiko Silkscreen veneers and Lumiere Luster flakes from JetAgeStudio.com.

And lastly I thought I would share another totem with you.  I was toying with creating a totem as part of the new tutorial (you’ll note the decorative element wrapped around this totem) but have decided against it and instead, will create a range of pendant and bail components that will work together nicely.  I think the decorative veneers look very “hippyish” so thought a hippy totem could be the go.  I think it’s okay, but not quite what I wanted and I had a few curing issues with some additional pieces.  It’s all a learning curve though and I must admit, I have learnt heaps during the creation of these totems so I think there’ll be more to come.  Anyway here’s the hippy totem.



















So that’s about it for show and tell.  I’ll sign off and start working on something else.  Have fun everyone…bye for now.

Love Deb


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Gayla Childers
Gayla Childers
6 years ago

I found a remark about the video interview so chased that down and found this! These totems are really yummy my friend! I love what you are doing with the claws! And the mokume gane elements on them are soooo cool! I have got to perfect that technique. The times I have tried it have been abject failures. Guess I need to try harder! Anyway, I can’t wait to see where you go with the totems. The things in this blog sure peak my interest!!!