Artist Transforms Driftwood Into Fantastical Sculptures That Look Like Spirits of Nature


Trees play a crucial part in life on our planet. They take in CO2 and give out oxygen which is essential for many life forms. Almost half (48%) of the entire Earth was covered in trees. However, with time and human intervention, these trees have been taken down to half of the original amount. One-fifth of the original forests have been left undisturbed. It is estimated that there are more than 3 trillion trees across the Earth.

Aside from the oxygen they produce, trees are also a great habitual place for birds, bats, bugs, etc. Additionally, even dead trees can play a vital part in the ecosystem and for future trees.

What is Driftwood?

After the tree is dead, it usually rots into place. However, that’s not the only natural afterlife for a tree since they can go on a journey and carry its ecological wealth away.

These trees usually move through lakes, rivers, or oceans and are called driftwoods. The journey they take most of the time is quick. The tree can be left on a different part of its original home with the same ecosystem. However, sometimes the tree can travel far out in the sea and reach a different ecosystem.

You can see driftwood all across the world on its beaches. Many people have seen driftwood but they’ve probably discarded is as unwanted debris. Even though there is driftwood that looks not special like twigs from trees nearby, the history of some of the driftwood can bring wonderful adventures into sight. Just think what the old tree has probably gone through – it could be part of a shipwreck, traveled the sea for centuries, and more amazing stories!

Driftwood Sculpture

Debra Bernier gives these wonderful driftwoods even more charm by transforming them into breathtaking sculptures. Being surrounded by driftwood in Victoria, Canada, Debra studied the shape of each piece and carefully carved out or added to the nature to form gentle feminine figures. She doesn’t start with a blank canvas since “each piece of driftwood is already a sculpture,” Debra claims. The waves and the wind gave the driftwood its sculpture look.

As Debra is working on her sculpting, she holds the driftwood as it “tells a story and I try to think of its journey.” She uses curves and contours that already exist on the tree to shape familiar animals or faces of people.

To create her art, Debra doesn’t just use wood. She also includes clay, shells, stones, and other objects that she can find which make her creations better. Her sculpture creations are fusing humanity and nature just like nymphs across forests. Most of the sculptures she creates are themed with motherhood and fertility. Many cultures incorporate shells as a symbol of fertility.

Debra’s sculpting is inspired by the things she loves the most in the world: animals, children, and nature.

Additionally, she loved the beach and the nature going around it ever since she was a child. Debra is excited and thankful for being able to share her love as well as her talent with people across the world.


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