Wood Spirits - Sculptures By Nicholas A. Price
As a sculptor I like to harvest my own raw materials and never contract out any part of the creative process.
The Wood Spirits Collection reflects this process and arrives with a unique story, the entire body of work is created from wood harvested from my own land, mostly red oak, this tree once sat proudly among a stand of pines, most of the trees in the land are dominated by the southern yellow pine, although I have protected and encouraged some truly unique species, including holly, cypress, white oak, maple, cherry, persimmon and live oak.
Three years ago a fire swept the far end of the land, fortunately a natural wetland area protected much of the older trees, however the intensity of the fire destroyed about five acres of pines, palmettos, holly and oak, the palmetto palms were already making a comeback in a few weeks, however the pines and oaks were finished, the former looked close to spent matchsticks and the largest of the red oaks sat alone devoid of foliage and much of its bark. I watched and waited, it never recovered. I decided to give it new life. Strangely that’s when the drama commenced rather than ended! First the felling process took four days and when the old tree finally fell to earth, transporting the enormous trunk and boughs was another story. The tree sat around 300 feet from any path or decent surface; nothing existed beyond there but the palmettos and now dangerously precarious pines which dropped their branches in the slightest breeze. I had to cut the oak into sections and manually haul it out of the back land. The pieces of the tree ranged from 200 to 500 pounds each and I slowly moved them out one at a time, starting with the upper limbs, the lightest, the last three were extremely heavy, I’d started and had to finish, I succeeded in hauling three of the heaviest out to my vehicle and then dragged them back to my studio/workshop, as I pulled through the main gate I passed a beautiful red oak that sits on the edge of the property as I closed the gate the tree began to shed leaves like tears I suppose, I hadn’t cut a live tree so I had no guilt.
There was one final piece, the monster, close to 450 pounds, I decided to take a cart and use it to assist in the move, I have no idea where my strength comes from with things like this but the huge log was soon onboard.
I trust you will enjoy The Wood Spirits Collection, the sculptures don’t just represent the tree and the woods natural flaws or beauty but reflect the earth in which the tree once grew, those that traipsed across the land through history, the water and air that gave it life and the consuming fire that delivered new purpose.