Meditations with Fire
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 (Non-Indigenous). David helped me realize this sculpture through collaboration and his exceptional carving skills.
Photography by Russell Johnson.