- I was lucky enough to find two old volleyball net posts that were being discarded. They are extremely heavy because the metal pipes are cemented into tires at the base. I don’t think it would be very hard or expensive to make something similar yourself (just make sure it’s bottom-heavy).
As for the individual sections, I cut up PVC piping into 10″ pieces to build the coils around. This ensures that the coiled sections will all have the same diameter (make sure it’s a bit larger to compensate for shrinkage during firing). Cover the PVC pipe with newspaper so that the coiled cylinders will easily slide off after construction.
First my students worked in pairs to build their 10″ cylinders out of coils. Next they were given a totem animal to incorporate and build onto their coil base. I also gave them instructions to carve words that were descriptive of their totem animal’s symbolism.
There is so much that you can do with this totem pole project, and tons of interesting cultural and art historical background to incorporate. Have fun with this lesson, and let me know how it turns out!