Friday, 10 May 2013

Driftwood Seal anyone?

Taking a short break from painting/drawing for a week or so, I found a lovely piece of old driftwood recently, on the beach nearby. It's about 12 x 8 x 4 inches. When I picked it up it immediately suggested a seal to me. So with the minimum of carving but much sandpapering and polishing, I now have a nice little sculpture to gather dust on the coffee table.
You can see how the grain has been affected by 'spalting'.

For those who don't know, spalting is a term used to describe the process by which certain fungi grow on dead or fallen trees, colonizing the wood by travelling up the wood cells from the ends of broken off branches, leaving a most attractive pattern. The process takes 2 to 3 years to reach the ideal stage to cut & season the timber. I haven't a clue how long this piece was lying on the shore, or even what type of wood it is but the patterns are very attractive.
 Below you can see I shaped the wood slightly to bring out more of the wood grain as it curves and travels through.

 A close up of some of the patterns and colouration.

I used a sanding sealer (shellac), a lot of elbow grease and several coats of natural wax to bring it up to a lovely glass smooth finish. Very tactile.


Katherine Thomas said...

This is a wonderful sculpture and your description of the wood and how it was made are very interesting. Nice job! It's beautiful!

Peter Williams said...

Thanks Katherine. It's just a bit of a hobby really to help me relax in between other projects. Very satisfying to do though.

Maria Balcells said...

Looks beautiful and makes you wish to have it on the hands. A wonderful bit of wood converted on art. Very nice!

Canidae Art said...

Wonderful carving and fantastic woodgrain :) What a wonderfully creative and fitting idea from a piece of driftwood!