paper sketch of initial idea of brother and father holding each other

starting to rough out the tree trunk. It had two limbs to work with as well as many scars and checks; what I call "character flaws"

three perspectives: drawing, clay model and beginning sculpture

heads emerging

working down to the lower section of the tree stump to release the hands

the work is near completion. I used the broken ends of the stump and natural checks to emphasize the "wounds" of the figures

at work using my fine chisels

detailing the final finished sculpture

Detail of face of the boy. I use the natural flaw in the wood to recognize a 'tear' falling from his face

Sculptural process for "Wounds of My Father"


Here is an example of how I sculpt in wood. I found an old seasoned two-branch ash tree , which had lots of "wounds:" checks, scars, discoloration; perfect for my idea. I have been wanting for so many years in my life to create a sculpture which would nurture me in the mental process of working out my emotions and feelings of loss of my father and my brother. By the very act of "releasing" the figures from the interior of the tree, I feel I was able to accomplish this goal. As the writer may pen memoirs of important love ones in the pages of a book; I was able to do this with the effects of chisel and mallet.   


Viewing the photos from top to bottom, you will see how I develop a work of art: a sketch of my initial idea, a quick small clay sculpture to get an idea of proportions; the roughing out process, and the final details. All work is done by hand chisels, with tung oil, hand rubbed for the final touch. This work took me about nine to ten months to complete.