Lowcountry wood carver turns hurricane debris into art

VIDEO: Artist turns hurricane debris into art

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - For most people, Hurricane Dorian left a mess. But for a master wood carver, it left opportunity when a giant tree landed in his neighbors yard.

“So we were cutting the tree up and didn’t realize it, the stump of the tree was 4 foot across," Stephen Vadakin said. "And I’ve carved three or four of these big 1,000, 2,000-pound sculptures before and I thought, oh boy, there’s a whale in there!”

No stranger to creating great pieces of art from wood, Vadakin went to work. Months later, from a giant chunk of tree, slowly and meticulously, a whale started to appear. Now, almost completely finished, this artist would like to find it a good home.

“I’d like to donate it to a school or a library or an aquarium somewhere," he says. "And what we’d really like to see is it suspended from a ceiling so that you can see the full motion of it for people looking up at it.”

A similar piece he carved hangs at The Center for Coastal Studies in Cape Cod and another at Garaway High School in Ohio.

Born from Dorian debris, the new whale will live on for years putting smiles on the faces of all who see it.

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