Merlayna's West Coast Wood Sculptures
wood art sculptures & carvings

The Creation of a Whale of a Tail

The oneTree Exhibit 2017/18 will feature the largest Walnut Tree in Victoria - from St. Charles Street and over 180 years old. 

When I saw a photo of this piece (over 4' wide and 4' tall), I was inspired:

I was pleased that my proposal was selected by the panel of judges for this prestigious show.

On June 24, 2016  I travelled to Live Edge Design in Duncan to get my piece of wood:

The piece had to be sawed down to 48" across so it would fit in the planer and was then cut in half vertically through the heartwood.

This was done by Rob, one of the stellar Live Edge experts.


It was still really heavy!!!!!!!!

The whale-tail-to-be is doing a head stand in my driveway.

Chainsawing some bulk off in the driveway was necessary before it could be moved.

A very kind neighbor helped wheel this still very heavy hunk of walnut into my studio area.

It is wrapped in a wet blanket to keep it from drying out.  I am glad it is now out of the direct sunshine.

JULY 1, 2016

Been making lots of sawdust the past few days:

The piece is down from weighing almost 400 pounds to under 200!!!!

As you can see, I'm pretty happy with the progress.  The piece is a perfect fit!  I think I've earned my 'Angel Wings'

July 3, 2016 - This is what the sculpture looks like now - after 5 sawdust filled days!  


Still a lot of refining and final shaping to do and then I'll 'swaddle' it in dry towels and wrap in plastic to dry the wood slowly.

Since this piece is created from green (wet) wood, it's important to reduce thickness in large areas.  Here I am hollowing out the back of the tail.  When completed, this side will have a freeform flow that is as pleasant to view as the front.

Hollowing out the back of the flukes with my Arbortech Cutters on my Angle Grinder


Rubbing the finish on to bring out the lustrous grain and color

Mystique - finished piece (front view) 

From approx. 400 pounds wet wood at start to 44 pounds finished!

Back view.....the hollowed centre makes an artistic statement!

The 'Rockland TREE-o' of bowls was created from off-cuts from 'Mystique'