Enthusiastic expression from Rhododendron

This piece is sculpted from a rhododendron root burl that had been bulldozed into a pile of waste wood on a clear-cut logging project in Madison County, N.C. Scheduled to be burned along with others on the pile, I rescued it – and a second gnarled lump from which I ultimately sculpted its sister piece, Brain Scan.

Frequently, I’ve made reference to the cooperative nature of my art with the wood. Although the natural form strongly influenced the final form of Rhapsody, to say it was a “cooperative effort” stretches the point.

Rhododendron is a tenacious wood that strongly resists all efforts to shape and sand it. The final results, however, were worth the effort. Rhapsody is one of my favorite works. The natural form suggested and allowed for the sweeping lines, delicate detail and strong negative space that I love to pursue.


8” H, 10“ W, 5” Dia.