A customized wedding gift or memorabilia item is a great way to capture the essence of a couple and their special event. Asheville artist Bill Bowers, of Blue Dharma Fine Art, achieves this by creating wedding totems, unique and thoughtful items unlike anything you’ll find on a bridal registry.
“One of the most memorable and historically practiced ceremonial events all over the world is the union of two people committing to a marriage,” says Bowers. “There are many artifacts and decorative accessories that couples keep for years to come. It is in that tradition that I create my wedding totems, turning meaningful memorabilia into high art dedicated to the dignity of special event.”
One such totem, Anointed, incorporates a red glass heart, tuning forks, Selenite cubes and crystals. These items symbolize the sound of love and romance emanating into the room in which the totem is placed. Other items in the piece include Chinese coins for prosperity, a golden pendulum and azurite, all carefully arranged in a 12-inch by 48-inch structure made of wood and plaster.
“I marvel with delight at what couples bring me to put into their totems,” says Bowers. “I enjoy the stories behind the items and those stories actually help me to decide where to arrange everything on the totem.”
Some of the more unique items Bowers recalls using are an extracted tooth, hair from the tail of a favorite horse and a barstool leg. Popsicle and candy bar wrappers, photographs, love letters, bridal veils, theater tickets and family heirlooms have also appeared in his totems. The pieces can be painted to look like turquoise, marble, opal or other surfaces.
“The sky’s the limit,” says Bowers. “Whatever your heart holds dear can be embellished and on display for years to come.”
Blue Dharma Fine Art is located at 1 Page Avenue, Suite 137, in Asheville. Winter hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, or by appointment. To learn more, call 941.301.1409 or visit BlueDharmaFineArt.com.