I recently completed a non- traditional “Wildlife Totem” for the city of Coeur d’ Alene. It’s located in G.O. Phippeny park which lies on the corner of Seventh St. and Montana St. downtown. Although the project took nearly nine days, it more likely represents about 28-30 hrs of work. The sculpture has nine different species of wildlife found here in the northwest; an Owl, Bear Cub, Grizzly, Eagle, Chinook Salmon (3),Fox, Wolf, and a River Otter. I carved a tree, and a rock-like structure as well as various branches that make up the spaces in between characters. It stands just under 9 ft tall, and is made from Ponderosa Pine. The tree which died naturally from disease once stood over a 100 feet tall, and was topped at Ten feet around a year and a half ago. The top diameter was about 24 inches in diameter with a slight taper towards the base.
The project went fairly smooth, however there were a few areas in which rot presented some challenges, one in particular, needed to be rebuilt using wood fillers. Various stains were used, making each character stand out. The sculpture has a much richer tone than if the sculpture were to be simply sealed using a single color. Benches were also added on each side, allowing people to enjoy sitting amongst the totem.
This was a great project, and it was fun to meet lots of neighbors, and locals whom enjoyed seeing the transformation over a couple weeks. If your a local, or traveling through I encourage you to visit in person. If you’d like to receive updates and occasional articles about my work, please subscribe to the e-mail newsletter on my website.
Below is a photo of one angle, to see the entire sculpture visit the works section of my website www.jeff-may.com