I grew up with two activities filling my time: drawing and exploring the woods in northern Michigan. I would collect pine cones, mushrooms, birch bark or any other little treasure that had fallen onto the mossy ground. As a child I remember stumbling onto a little cabin hidden deep in the woods and being mesmerized by a totem pole the owner had placed in front as a welcome of sorts. The image of those forest animals stacked one on top of another with their boldly painted features stuck with me. To this day I am still enamored by the rich, graphic art of the Northwest Coast.
One day, while relaxing in my Eames lounge chair I had an epiphany. Why not create art that combined two of my fondest things: Northwest Coast Style art and Mid-Century Modern furniture? The simplicity of the furniture designed in the era of modernism seemed to have forms in common with the art of the Northwest Coast: the curved plywood of an Eames LCW, the negative space formed from an Arne Jacobsen Swan chair, the graphic silhouette of a Noguchi table. To me, the two worlds just seemed to make sense together. And so a new mash-up was born: Mid-Century Totems.