Wetlands, a moving sculpture

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Project by Ryan Shervill posted 07-19-2010 07:59 PM 3532 views 6 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Wetlands, a moving sculpture
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“Like grasses swaying in a summer breeze, the fluid motion is visible in the solid form of the wood.”

When I read that description, this was the instant mental image. Anyone who has witnessed cattails play amongst themeselves with even the slightest hint of a breeze will be able to relate with this vision. This sculpture was all about catching that movement in static form.

Made entirely out of water recovered old-growth lumber, this project is as environmentally friendly as it is pretty. The cherry birchwood “leaves” are resawn and sanded to approx 1/32” thick, and the bottom surfaces of the leaves are left unfinished. Why unfinished? Well….As the humidity changes, the leaves change shape all on their own, allowing the sculpture to recreate itself over and over.

After all, what conveys movement better than an object that actually does move as if it were living?

Thanks for looking everyone.

Ryan Shervill

-- Want to see me completely transform a house? Look here:

19 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4758 days

#1 posted 07-19-2010 08:19 PM

Beautiful sculpture, and a brilliant idea to allow it to change shape with changes in humidity!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View mmh's profile


3679 posts in 4261 days

#2 posted 07-19-2010 08:20 PM

Very nicely done! I love how the tall grasses and bog plants sway and create a kinectic type sculpture of nature. These look quite real and I can even imagine seeing a red winged blackbird nesting near by.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View gurnie's profile


342 posts in 3574 days

#3 posted 07-19-2010 09:02 PM

This is really cool. You should take a video of it swaying and post it :)

-- Please visit my Etsy site, or You can also follow me on my artfire blog:

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 3590 days

#4 posted 07-19-2010 09:52 PM

Is this the same piece that was sitting on your “Of Curvy Legs and Underwater Wood” table?

They are both beautifully artistic pieces, to say the least!

I also like the idea of allowing the leaves to change with the climatic conditions.

I too would like to see this in motion, “swaying in the breeze”.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View gbear's profile


528 posts in 4638 days

#5 posted 07-19-2010 10:20 PM

Very cool. I wish I had your imagination and artistry…not to mention your talent.

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3734 days

#6 posted 07-19-2010 11:17 PM

Beautiful. I have seen this somewhere before though. Did you publish it in a magazine or somewhere else?

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4133 days

#7 posted 07-20-2010 12:31 AM


-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4700 days

#8 posted 07-20-2010 12:35 AM

BEAUTIFUL AND FLUID. Love the story behind it as well.
Now—this is what I was going to make as my project but obviously not nearly as skillfully.

Oh.. and the humidity affects on the wood: brilliant!!


-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3984 days

#9 posted 07-20-2010 02:18 AM

Beautiful piece Ryan. Well done.

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 4066 days

#10 posted 07-20-2010 02:19 AM

Very nice. You dog….......just kidding, great sculpture and flow entry….............

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4313 days

#11 posted 07-20-2010 03:57 AM

Beautiful piece. Very nicely done. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View a1Jim's profile


117746 posts in 4116 days

#12 posted 07-20-2010 03:58 AM

Wonderful love it.

View mysticcarver's profile


52 posts in 3605 days

#13 posted 07-20-2010 06:07 AM


-- J.Palmer,Texas,

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3970 days

#14 posted 07-20-2010 07:17 AM

Fantastic piece of art. The fact that you took Martins example and brought it to life is even better. Agree with the others about letting it breath and move with the climate change. Wonderful way to make a “static” sculpture not so static.

Keep up the imaginative work.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View scrounger's profile


113 posts in 3622 days

#15 posted 07-20-2010 02:47 PM

Great piece Ryan, will be hard to top it!

-- Dave, Southern IL.,

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