Hurricane Sandy Chair (2016)



When we’d decided on the concept for our Hurricane Sandy Library Bench, we selected some planking that filled the material needs for the project. It was all 1 x 6” lumber; it seemed to have been part of a fence. In our work there is a necessary “engineering” aspect, the main components of which are: will it hold together, and can a large person sit in it without it breaking? Since we planned for a six-foot-long bench, we tested the boards’ strength, and found it much too flimsy to meet our standards. We ended up using 2 x 8” planks from the steps from a destroyed deck for the bench.

That left us wondering how to use the fencing, which we’d already started to dress. The obvious answer was a piece that could use relatively-stronger short lengths of the lumber for a seat and backrest, and this chair is the result. It’s currently in use as a dining-room chair in our home.

Sculpture – Football Hero and His Fairy Princess Girlfriend By Their Special Rock (2016)


Odd figurines kept turning up on our pebble-strewn beach. The tide would go out, we’d go for a walk, and we’d see something protruding from the sand – a little arm or a head, the trunk of an elephant . . . Our conjecture is that these objects were thrown into the sea as votive offerings by those we called “The Reef People,” the denizens our neighboring seafood restaurant, and had some symbolic meaning in connection with whatever religion they practiced.

We decided that they should be repurposed as elements of sculptures. Most of them were extremely worn by moving around, tidally, among the sand and stones, or corroded by the saltwater. They all seemed to have some sense of mystery about them.

Our football player and blonde girl intrigued us for years before we found a beautiful quartz-like stone on the beach, and placed them side by side in front of it on our deck, standing on a worn piece of flat micaceous rock. We ended up making the girl into a fairy princess by standing her in an oyster shell, like a “Venus-on-the-half-shell.” After a time we realized we had a sculpture, and named it according to the strange sense of the presence they conveyed. The piece lived in various outdoor places, most recently in our back yard, against a brick retaining wall. The figures kept falling over, and we’d stand them up again, trying various versions of posing them. It was a little like playing with dolls, but . . . strange dolls.

We finally decided to give it some permanence by fabricating a sandbox from wood salvaged from the pallets of concrete that were brought in to rebuild our seawall after Hurricane Sandy. We filled it with sand from the beach we found them on, intending to somehow glue them in place in their ineffably strange poses against their “special,” glistening rock. Because the stones were so heavy, and tended to shift slightly, we concluded that they should remain “loose,” and be posed at will.


Whoever is in possession of this sculpture will find that they are involved in a strange sort of ménage-a-trois with the two figures, with their beady, lifeless black eyes staring into space, together yet apart with their weirdly outstretched arms, occasionally falling over and having to be re-posed, with every different positioning making a subtle shift in their relationship.

“Mae West” Bookshelf 2 (2014)


MaeWestBkshelf2.jpgIn 2001 we created the “Mae West” Bookshelf from a solid mahogany companionway ladder from the classic motor yacht that had sunk at its dock here on our little island. Some time later, another, smaller ladder appeared on our beach. After many years we got around to setting it up as a second bookshelf, using dockwood two-by-fours and a teak plywood hatch cover from a racing yacht to complete it.

Hurricane Sandy Library Bench (2016)



A couple of years ago, at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair at the Javits Center in New York, we saw an upholstered sofa that had bookshelves built into its back. Though we didn’t think much of the design and execution of the piece, we sure liked the concept. We’ve created our “library bench” from lumber salvaged from the wreckage of the storm on our little island.

How Do You Name A Sculpture?


A sculptor may name a work in several ways: it may be in the wording of the original idea for the piece, it may come to him or her as the piece is thought out, or during its creation. It may occur only after the piece is finished, or even as a suggestion from the gallerist who’ll be showing it.

“See-Snake” started as a simple concept: “sea snake.” As we worked on it, we thought of its relationship to reality and came up with a name: “Sea Snake, Fossilized.” But after we decided that a little worm-hole in the head should be enlarged to make an eye, and inserted a black African glass bead from Sharynne’s bead collection, it became “See-Snake.”

– Dave Wilder


See-Snake (2016)

Sculpture by Dave and Sharynne Wilder – Driftwood (grey poplar), African glass bead.

Part of our sculpture “Animal Series”