"NGSI" totem

(Non-Gender-Specific It)



October, 2001

Current Owner


Current Location

Houston, TX


ebony, purpleheart, copper


polished crystal coat


The NGSI totem is a tribute to a previous year-long prank. The symbol itself is done in negative (cut out) and repeated in different orientations down the length of the totem. Some artistic license was taken to allow for the symbol to overlap without destroying the visual simplicity of pattern.

This particular totem is a mantle-sized height of just under 12 inches. The NGSI totem is mounted on a purpleheart base with a copper nameplate. The entire totem was finished to >1000grit prior to the application of a hand-buffed shellac crystal coat.

The best part of working on this totem was the material. Ebony is a truly magnificent wood (old-growth...) that cuts like aluminum. With the ebony, I experienced no tearing, grain pull or blade wandering. I was able to hold extremely fine detail and achieve a rock-hard mirrored finish. The downfall was the number of scrollsaw blades chewed up in the process.