Original Sin (2017)
An Alaska spruce root forms the trunk of a tree, around which a serpent has wrapped its coils. The figures in the tree suggest animal forms. The snake is formed with driftwood that includes alder, spruce, and western hemlock.
Sea Horse (2017)
This figure is sculpted entirely out of a single piece of yellow cedar. The remarkable folds and wrinkles in the wood were formed as the tree grew in the rocky soil along a remote stretch of Alaska coastline.
Triple Helix (2016)
Three spiraling branches sprout from a single base, twisting upwards nearly 6 feet before reuniting in a crowning triple fork. Nearly 30 individual sections of driftwood are joined and polished, highlighting the warm hues and intricate grain of Alaska alder and hemlock.
Continental Drift #2 (2017)
My new studio affords lots more room to experiment with large sculptures and other creations. I just completed a massive driftwood globe measuring 4 feet in diameter, which is designed to be mounted on a steel pedestal for outdoor display.
After a lifetime in Alaska, in early 2017 I relocated to coastal Washington State. Although I plan to continue my explorations of Alaskan beaches as a visitor, for now I am busy discovering the driftwood that abounds on local beaches. My new, larger studio affords me the opportunity to experiment with larger pieces and to work on multiple projects at once.
Here are some of my newest driftwood sculptures, completed within the past year or so.
The beaches of Alaska's Prince William Sound abound with driftwood that has been cast far above the tide line by winter storms. Once I spot a piece of wood with the right shape, size and color for one of my driftwood sculptures, extracting it from the mass of tangled logs and branches often presents quite a puzzle.
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Seba's Snake Series (2016)
Curved sections of driftwood from a variety of wood species come together in these driftwood sculptures inspired by the wood-plate engravings of 17th Century Dutch zoologist Albertus Seba. They are among the first in a series of driftwood snake sculptures that evolved into later works such as "Triple Helix" and "Root Bound."
Along the more protected shoreline of coastal Washington, the abundant driftwood appears to have been deposited more gently by the receding tide. Although beaches along the outer coast are exposed to the full force of the open Pacific Ocean, stretches such as this one on Whidbey Island allow me to more easily browse among the countless thousands of pieces of wood that adorn the shoreline.
Root Bound (2016)
More than any other Pacific Northwest species, western hemlock branches grow with amazingly sharp twists and bends which often circle 180 degrees or more. This sculpture highlights the grain, color and shape of the hemlock and alder wood that twists and drips as the continuous loop formed by the polished driftwood circles back on itself.