The woods are enchanted today. My goodness, there has not been a day so fair since last June! The sunlight, filtered through the canopy of tall hardwoods, dances in dapples and spots, brilliant, then gone, then back again. And the wind sings, bringing stories of northwestern worlds in a language that makes me dream, but not comprehend…
And that stack of glass beckons (with my husband’s voice) “When are you going to make some totems?”
Flea market finds for a quarter here, 5 for a buck there. The collection began last year when a friend emailed me photos of totems at a Botanical Garden…and the hunt began.
Last autumn I made several, but gave most of them away. Now it is time to replenish my supply. I did collect lead crystal pieces for a specific totem, to be donated to a garden in memory of my mom. That one is almost finished. Photos will follow. Instructions first for anyone adventurous in crafts.
Odd glass pieces, various sizes, shapes and colors, and “Amazing Goop” Household adhesive–or any adhesive that is waterproof and clear when dry. I have several totems that withstood being outside all winter during snow, sleet, freezing rain, bitter cold and thaw cycles.
First, use caution– broken glass can cause cuts and lacerations. Wear appropriate clothings and protection.
Start with a plate–for taller totems, a wider plate is necessary for stability. Then you begin to stack–carefully, exchanging pieces until you see something that strikes a chord. There are no rules except what common sense and aesthetics dictate. Place pieces so that openings face down, and bowls and plates are inverted so that they do not trap water. The point is to have moisture drain off. When you create an arrangement that looks good, begin to glue them together. Follow package instructions for your adhesive, allowing ample cure time. And it is a good idea to glue sections of a couple pieces together, then glue sections together after initial curing. You may find it helpful to use masking tape to hold pieces in place while the glue is very wet. Pieces will shift–and cause crooked totems.
When planning where to use in the garden, think “gazing ball type focal point’…
water goblets, candy dishes, ashtrays, bowls, plates, vases… It is nice to leave a candleholder on top unattached. That way it can be turned over for bad weather to keep from collecting water, and also you don’t have to lift and turn the whole totem on its side to pour out any collected water.