John Adamson- Tree Sculptor

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The Towneley Whale

 

Towneley High School's Student Council commissioned a carving to turn a rotting log into a work of art. The trunk of a poplar tree had been felled, after two huge branches had fallen off during a storm, narrowly missing the school. After some discussion we agreed on a whale or shark for the sculpture. The design had to take into account various factors, the crucial fact in the choice was that a whale's tail moves up and down, rather than from side to side, and this design fitted the wood.

Part of the tree, where the branches had blown of in the storm, was not suitable for the sculpture and was turned into seating logs for the school's wild life garden. This left 12 ft of useable wood, and at 42 in diameter at the largest end, there was a large hole that became a Henry Moore style eye hole and mouth. At the other end a branch helped to form the "Y" of the tail.

Chainsaws were used for the most of the carving. Arbortechs were used for some of the detail and in particular to clean out the eye/mouth hole, which was too cramped for chain saw work. The whole sculpture is to be treated with preservative by school staff and students.

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