Dale Zarrella discovers mermaid in tree trunk

Mermaid 1Maui artist and Maui Vista neighbor, Dale Zarrella, finished his Damien sculpture last winter. (Click here to learn more about Zarrella’s life-size koa wood sculpture of Father/Saint Damien.)

After carving a green sea turtle out of a koa remnant from the Damien statue, Zarella decided to turn his hand to something a little larger…

This five thousand pound stump from an old monkey pod tree sat in his outdoor studio at the north end of Charley Young Beach when we arrived in early April.

The outline emerges

The outline emerges

By the middle of the month, the outlines of Zarrella’s latest work began to emerge. This is the chainsaw and power tool stage. Progressively finer carving tools – and ultimately – 2000 grit sandpaper are used later.

By the end of April the mermaid’s form was readily apparent. In addition, large sea turtles began to appear below her body and tail.

This large sculpture is the latest in a series of Mermaids Zarrella has carved. Two of his life-sized mermaids can be seen in the lobby of the Makena Golf and Beach Resort. Click here to learn about Zarrella’s artist tour that takes place every Wednesday evening at the resort.

Mermaid 2Notice the void in the stump above the mermaid’s left arm and hand. The three rocks holding down papers on the scaffold were lodged in the crevice and the tree grew around them. They must have been placed there a long time ago!

Stay tuned for more.

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