Totem Pole Design




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By Robert De Groat

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It is easier to plan on paper than to carve in wood.  Therefore think of the design of your pole a little before you start the actual fun of carving.

In this chapter we are including a number of illustrations to help you in collecting designs you want.  Any number of different combinations may be made.

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The whole theory of artistic design takes years of ardent practice to learn, but the principles involved are fairly simple.  First decide on the animals you want to include in your pole.  Then take your paper and a soft pencil and jot down all the different combinations you think would look well.  The more you sketch roughly, the more you'll have to choose from.  After you've collected everything you'd like, sort the designs and eliminate the ones you don't want.

Combine the good features and make your final composition roughly at about the actual size of the miniature pole, or if it happens to be a larger pole, at a correct proportionate scale.

Keep your designs rugged with strong outlines, suggesting the main features only.   Do not attempt to make a work of art or a finished statue out of it.  The beauty of a good pole is in its primitive, massive character.

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Totem Poles






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Materials&Tools ] [ Totem Pole Design ] Totem Pole Stories ] Camp Uses ] Authentic Totems ] Patrol Totems ] Use of Color ] Totem Gifts ] Totem Paper Knives ] Totem Miniatures ] Totem Museum ] Totem Contest ] Preserving Totems ] A Totem Talks ] Bibliography ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.