If you don't believe in coincidence then it is logical, yes even of poetic justice, when your past throws you an overdue reward. Or recovers a forgotten treasure. Or returns a lost thought photo album.
Before as a sculptor I got hooked on whales and dolphins I have pondered other life forms for about 8 years. Initially I would outline an autonomous design on a piece of wood that was plank- or beam-shaped and work this out. Ever more,though, the shape, grain and colour of the wood became proposals to a suitable design. And still I make use of nature where she inspires me and interpret her where she restricts me. The latter I call 'Bio-fiction' and these pieces you'll find in the next Dolphin Address, nr. 5.
My woods are from the tropics, they are very heavy, hard and durable and require special tools, many of which I had to make myself.
long 7,5 cm
The rounding of the shell is emphasized by having cut it across the grain. The characteristic 'teeth' in the upper ridge are more visible than the opposing ones.
Cut from handhold.
2 Sea Eel
30 cm across
This eel too has been cut across the growth course. This angle is a lot harder to work, but as the wood is heavily cross-grained, this approach prevents splintering. The pores of this wood are filled with a kind of ruby red chalk that makes the wood glow even in a little light.
3 Hunting Bat
wide 30 cm
With high speed cameras it was discovered that bats sometimes flick their prey with a wing into the 'apron' they form with tail and hind legs. This is such a manoeuvre depicted.
long 27 cm
Not really a popular animal species and maybe that is why many people don't know these slugs breathe through the opening on their right side. This version is excellently cuddle-able.
long 30 cm
The red could be from where you are scratching. This fly, a broken-off branch end, has been picked off the trunk with minimal intervention.
6 Died in harness
long 24 cm
For this exoskeleton a female Great Diving Beetle modeled.
7 Butterfly Cocoon
long 44 cm
Ironheart with sapwood
The light-yellow sapwood naturally encapsulates the darker, stone hard corewood.
Heavily wrapped, seemingly lifeless. However, we can see some of what's going to be: the eyes, the antennae and four of the six legs.
8 Chinese Cabbage
long 9 cm
Not a single undulation in the leaves of this cabbage is coincidental, everything is related and directed by the number of three.
9 Saprophyte's Delight
height 32 cm
This is one of the heaviest wood species on the planet and one of the few of which the sapwood is solid and durable enough for detailed working. It is pervaded by oil and used to be applied as self-lubricating parts, from ship axis bearings to clock mechanisms. Also the wood has been attributed healing properties, hence the name 'Lignum Vitae', wood of live and 'Palo Sancto', holy wood.
10 Night Blossom
long 6 cm
The flower opens at night and attracts insects with its luminous pistil. I always liked working with Cape Dawson. The apparent blue-black wood only yields its deep shining colour spectrum at a specific light angle.
long 44 cm
By making the surface of this finely striped wood undulate the resulting grain pattern intensifies it's own form.
12 Bean trunk
long 100 cm
This bursting bean symbolizes the period just before the birth of our daughter.
The photos I have made myself in my studio, with rolled out paper as a background, a sheet on either side and with two 1000 Watt lamps from a scrap yard. The camera ran on rolls and was a Nikon FM 2. When I bought it the salesman said you could hammer a nail into wood with it. That did it for me. I like things that don't break. That you find back in my work. That will survive me many times over.
A number of these sculptures are still with me: numbers 2, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9. Prices upon request.