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Carve Your Own Totem Pole Paperback – August 17, 2007


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Carve Your Own Totem Pole + Totem Poles: An Illustrated Guide (Museum Note No. 3) + Looking at Totem Poles
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Editorial Reviews

Review

A great book with explicit instructions on how to cure a log and carve it into a totem pole.... Woodsmen of Muskoka will start their chainsaws and create new art forms after reading this book. (Lois Cooper Muskoka Today 2007-12-13)

About the Author

Wayne Hill and Jimi McKee have created more than 300 totem poles for villages, towns, cities, businesses, corporations, families and individuals.

Photographer Bev McMullen has had her work featured in books, magazines, newspapers and calendars.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Boston Mills Press (August 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550464663
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550464665
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #612,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Newt on March 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is just what I was looking for! This book provides a great starting point for designing and carving your own totem pole. The explanations of the basic shapes and colors used in traditional Northwest Coastal totem poles as well as the meanings of some animal symbols helps in guiding and inspiring the design process.
The sections on carving tools and techniques were very helpful. This isn't a book on how to become a woodcarver, so someone who has never carved anything might want a general woodcarving book also. There are so many quality books devoted to basic woodcarving techniques I was glad to see these authors focused completely on the subject I bought the book for, rather than repeat info I already had.
The book was filled with high quality illustrations and fantastic photos that really helped me understand the concepts being discussed.
As for another reviewer's characterization of the poles in this book as "totem-like objects"..... I guess I have some confusion there. The authors of this book (and several others I've read) describe the purpose of traditional totem poles as, well, to say whatever the owners wanted to say. That's what I imagine most carvers want when they pick up a gouge and set to work. If one needs to be historically accurate to call one's work "totem pole" then one would first need to be of the indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast, then be apprenticed to a master carver for some years before starting one's first pole, wouldn't one?
I would highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to have fun and carve their own story in wood.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Karen A. Lebens on November 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
Along with many other carvers I would like to see a good book done on carving poles. This is not it. Even something as brief as Duane Pasco's recent booklet on carving a canoe but dealing with a pole would be better. The authors here have no real grasp on carving poles, IMHO, and basically produce totem-like objects and teach you to produce totem-like objects. The book by Vickie Jensen documenting a pole carved by Norman Tait is much better than this altho it only deals with one pole in one style.Robert Davidson's recent book about his first pole in Masset is also much better than this. However if carving a totem-like object is your goal this book may be helpful. Take a look at carvings by people like Tait, Davidson, Pasco, Don Yeomans, Scott Jensen, Bill Reid, Steve Brown etc and then look at what these guys are producing and ask yourself which you prefer. If you prefer what these guys are doing then this book is for you. If you like the other stuff, then get a copy of Robin Wright's book on Master Haida carvers, study the old stuff (as all of the above carvers have done), and try to find some classes taught by people who can do work like that. I'm giving this book three stars because there are some nice pictures here and there of good poles. Other than that, as Barry Herem once said in a review of a book about carving poles done by a local referred to as Ralph of Anacortes, the title would be perfect if they just added the word NOT to it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Willoughby on March 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I know nothing about carving and have no artistic ability. For me, this book was very helpful. It had good pictures, told about tools, painting and sealing the pole, showed close ups and had patterns. I would highly recommend it. It is by far the best of the books that I bought about carving your own totem.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nanaduck on February 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Living in the great Pacific Northwest, this book provided us with much information about totem poles even if you aren't a carver. I am a chainsaw carver so will be using that tool more than chisels. The tip about the stress cut to prevent cracking made the book worth buying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By robert e brewer on May 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Best book I have purchased of carving totem poles. Detailed information and how to get started carving your own totem. If you have to purchase only one book, this is the one.
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By Pattie Miller on April 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this booklet if one is interested in doing this type of woodwork. I have tried a couple of pieces that were recomended and enjoyed doing so. The book is well written and I feel that the experienced woodworker as well as the novice will benefit from it.
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By Pasadena on March 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I haven't tried to carve one yet; I need to stock up on a not so cheap set of adequate tools, the only downside of the book is the cost of the tools it recommends.
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