Maui 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
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.
Notice 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.
Every Wednesday evening Maui artist (and Maui Vista neighbor) Dale Zarrella gives a free guided tour of his sculptures at the Makena Beach and Golf Resort (formerly the Maui Prince Hotel). Not only do you get art and entertainment, Zarrella brings home-made chocolates shaped like little turtles. You can’t go wrong. Check with the resort to confirm dates and times.
Zarrella has four major works on display at the resort – two in the lobby and two in the restaurant downstairs. The two sculptures in the lobby are from Zarrella’s mermaid series: Mermaid Dream and Ka’ikehohonu (also known as 110 Turtles). Mermaid Dream began as a 3,000 pound Rain Shower tree root from which Zarrella removed 2,000 pounds of wood to reveal the mermaid. See Zarrella’s website (http://dalezarrella.com/) for a series of pictures on the making of this, and other, works.
- Ka’ikehohonu – 110 Turtles
Maui catching the sun (photo from Dale Zarrella website)
A life size bronze of the demi-god Maui holding the net by which he captured the sun can be found in the downstairs restaurant is. The net, we’re told, was woven from the hair of his sister Pele, the goddess of fire. I guess that must be why the net didn’t catch fire. (Click here for the story of Maui slowing the sun.)
The final piece of Zarrella’s work shows the bust and face of a woman emerging from a tree. The upside down stump turns the roots of the tree into wild hair blowing upward by the wind.
During the talk, Zarrella said the wood for this piece was found on Oprah’s Hana ranch while he was horse backing riding with some paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) friends of his.
See our other posts on Dale Zarrella:
Maui Artist Dale Zarrella at Work
Dale Zarrella’s Damien Taking Shape
Dale Zarrella and Helper Carve a Vision in Sand