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


(posted on 23 Dec 2016)

An 150 year old Garry Oak had to be removed from a private property in Uplands area of Victoria, B.C. The owner wanted the wood to be used for art as much as possible and not firewood.

Here is one of the pieces I got:




'Granny' the Matriarch of the Salish Seas Orcas has gone back home to Uplands where the tree was removed!

(posted on 26 Nov 2016)

Here is my project for the Fireweed Winter Celebration of Art Show

December 3 and 4, 2016 (See upcoming events)

(posted on 3 Sep 2016)

November 8, 2015

A black locust tree was cut down in a neighboring yard and I was fortunate enough to obtain this piece:


After a major 'boo boo', this log as transformed into 'Golden Glow' pictured below


I chainsawed off one side to make the bottom of my vessel:

the color and grain is magnificent.

In keeping with the Halloween spirit, I had my chainsaw in on October 30th getting a new chain....the man stated "This is an Echo saw, with an Oregon bar with a Stihl chain = you have a Franken-saw!" LOL



I made 5 perfect chainsaw cuts down the outside of this unique vessel.....then......


WHOOPS! I chainsawed right through to the inside down by the bottom!

What to do?

Here's the idea.....completed the crooked chainsaw cut and will laminate a piece on to make it look like an 'intentional two piece' vessel:

The 'add-on' piece is now in my oven drying out before I glue it on and sculpt it to match the vessel.

Who says I don't bake?

Added Variegated Blue Leaf around the 'Seam' - Now the piece is 'Golden Glow'


Golden Glow in all it's glory!

(posted on 17 Aug 2016)

When I chose this yellow cedar burl, my aim was to create a vessel following the natural flow of the wood:


I soon realized that that would be easier said than done. As in life, we must often let go of expectations. A tough lesson is often letting go of the bad and keeping the good.

This is 'bad' it's got to go

Change is gradual but by peeling off layers, we can discover the beauty beneath.

More wood has to be removed to 'Go with the Flow'

On the Finishing Table - See how the color intensified

View of the bottom of this precious burl

Finished piece - from the top it looks like an Eagle, so I have named it Golden Eagle Feast Bowl.

This creation is evolving from a Rocky Mountain Juniper Root


AFTER (See below for the creation process)


My challenge is to SIMPLIFY and STREAMLINE the piece. The sawed off piece on the bottom must blend with the sleekness of the sculpture.

The branch poking out on the right side is removed:

You can see two negative spaces in the photo above that I created with chainsaw plunge cuts.

The sawed off portion of the wood is starting to go with the flow of the piece. There was still a lot of shaping to create the magical movement that this stellar piece of Rocky Mountain Juniper Root deserves.

See how the colors 'pop' with the application of neutral shoe polish. This is my choice of finish for this wood as it maintains the pink and orange color of the Rocky Mountain Juniper.

(posted on 3 Jul 2016)


From this:

to this:


(posted on 6 Apr 2016)

March 18, 2016

Victoria was subject to a tremendous windstorm on Sunday, March 13th and a 30" diameter Garry Oak Tree was uprooted in Playfair Park. A huge piece of the base of the trunk was able to be rolled down to friends' driveway adjacent to the park.

Here are my dogs and I sitting on the piece:

Now I'm tackling taking away a lot of the excess wood to get it to a size that can be moved to my studio:

After several hours over a two day period, the piece was light enough to be lifted into a car (with the help of two strong men!). Here is what it looks like now:

Burrowing down with this burr to make the inside of the base

After chainsawing off excess wood, it's starting to take shape

Nightey-Night! It gets filled with sawdust and wrapped in a blanket for overnight.

It's starting to look more graceful. Still some thinning to do and LOTS of sanding, sanding, sanding!

(posted on 1 Apr 2016)

In a November windstorm a large walnut tree blew over. Here is some of the wood:

I chose a small log for my first piece. There isn't much/any heartwood in it, but random markings make it interesting.

There was a branch protrusion (upper left corner of photo above) and it was incorporated to make the 'dancing foot'

The piece is sanded with 80 grit

I've wrapped the not-yet-dry piece in a towel and placed it in a plastic bag to slow the drying process. When it's dry the sanding will be completed. I think this piece looks like a 'Spring Dance'.

(posted on 5 Mar 2016)

February 21, 2016 - This piece of maple was harvested from a fallen tree in Mechosin, BC several years ago. It was on a rural acreage and rumor has it that a 2nd 'Cougar Annie' lived there and that she shot at cougars when they came on her property. There wasn't a bullet in the wood, but there was a nail! (See blue spray paint below)

I chainsawed off the rough edges and started to sculpt the shape

Starting to 'go with the flow' of the wood

The piece is starting to come alive

I am anxious to get back out soon and allow this piece to proceed taking shape. This piece of maple has lots of burl and exciting grain patterns yet to be discovered.

On Saturday, February 21st I debulked and shaped this sculpture = a lot of sawdust!

It's now February 24th and I've spent several hours sanding, sanding, sanding and refining the shape. This is what this shell sculpture looks like now. Still have many hours of sanding to do to make it stellar and silky!

The top of the shell has been furled back to make it sleeker. The bottom centre has also been smoothed out.

UPDATE - It was decided that smooth and slick is more the protrusion at the bottom is gone now and after hours of sanding it's time to put the finish on:

This is the log of Rocky Mountain Juniper and the start of this piece:

The inside has been sanded at 80 grit and the outside chainsawed off:

The bark around the rim was detracting from the sculptural beauty, so it had to go.....

The outside and the base have been shaped and refined......still finishing sanding to be done, but now this one-of-a-kind sculpture is nearing completion.

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