This is a custom driftwood Sperm Whale that we are making. Did you know... Sperm whales are the largest of the toothed whales, with males up to 62 feet long—more than five times the length of a large elephant. They are easily recognized by their enormous square head and narrow lower jaw. Probably the most famous sperm whale was Moby Dick, the great white whale from Herman Melville’s classic novel of the same name.

We start by tracing the rough shape onto a great piece of driftwood we collected on the Popham Beach near our studio in Mid-coast Maine.

Next we cut out the whale

Once the piece is cut we begin to shape the whale using hand tools. The tail requires the most work due to the curves. The tail is thinner than the rest of the piece and must be shaped. 

One detail that makes the whale look great is the addition of a side fin. I shaped a piece of driftwood to make the the side fin. 

Now it's time for the first coat of paint and the whale starts to come alive!

They eye is painted at this point

Several finishing touches are added to the piece at this stage - I layered a dark green glaze to blend with the blue underpainting. You can now see the finished piece.