Dr Seuss' Magic Castle
This was the first carving in my Tree House series. It is made from madrone driftwood and stands about 3 feet tall. Originally growing somewhere in the Northern California Coastal Range mountains, at some point the tree or a part of it found its way into the watershed of the Navarro River in Mendocino County, and over who knows how much time, finally found its way to a beach in the tidal zone of the Pacific Ocean, where it rested for, again, an unknown period of time. Twice daily for, I would imagine, a long time—maybe a few years, maybe decades—this piece of madrone was alternately soaked in water and then baked in the sun. Rain, shine, tide in, tide out; this was the process, probably for years.
After I found it I took it home and let it dry out for several months. When I began carving it, I didn't know what I would find beneath the battered, weather-beaten, and in parts rotten, surface. What I found was that the heartwood was perfectly seasoned, and no human could ever hope to season this piece of madrone better than Mother Nature had done. The natural light pink color of the madrone wood had turned to a deep magenta,streaked and mottled with gray, charcoal, beige, and even black; it was beautiful. And after I chiseled away any punky or rotted wood, the heartwood was solid, even crystalline, and was very hard, like petrified wood. When I struck it with a sharp chisel, the mark it left was smooth with a shiny patina that needed no sanding.
I had no preconceived plan or idea when I began carving; I would let the wood tell me what it wanted to be. I knew I wanted a house, but I did not have a picture in my mind of what it would look like, normally the first condideration when beginning a carving. As I carved, house parts began to suggest themselves: a window here, a balcony there, a dormer on this roof, a chimney on this one. Slowly, over a period of about a hundred hours, it took shape.
I really love driftwood. Nature creates her own design as each piece is dragged over rocks, battered by storms, eroded by sand, tossed by raging currents and subjected to the hand of time. I tried not to obliterate all of Mother Nature's handiwork, but to make what I created harmonize with the beauty that was already inherently there. Mother Nature and I collaborated on this piece. It was a labor of love, and I hope you enjoy looking at it as much as I enjoyed making it.
To enable this piece to stand, it was mounted on another piece of driftwood as a base.
As far as the shipping goes, I really have no idea what it will cost to ship, but this computer program makes me fill in every box on every page. I would need to crate it up just to find out how big it is and how much it weighs, which I am not going to do unless and until someone buys it. If someone buys this piece, I will work with them to find the cheapest and the safest transportation to wherever the buyer lives. If this person lives on the West Coast, I might even make arrangements to hand-carry it to its destination, or meet the buyer half-way and make the hand-off. We will work something out.