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.


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”


Sketches for a Sculpture in Progress



By Dave & Sharynne Wilder


Sculpture – Chinese Dog (2010)


This bit of bleached driftwood, part of the roots of some bush or small tree, became for us a stylized “Pekingese,” as if modeled in curvaceous Chinese porcelain. We posed him on a little old plant stand we’d made years before that was weathering to pieces, and there he’s stayed.

Sculpture by Dave and Sharynne Wilder – bleached driftwood, weathered plant stand made of scrap lumber.

 Part of our sculpture “Animal Series”


Croc-a-Bye Baby (2014)

What’s a young crocodile to do on a cold winter day? Sun himself on a snow bank?CrocAByeBabyV2

Sculpture by Dave and Sharynne Wilder – driftwood (cut cypress limb), zinc rod.

 Part of our sculpture “Animal Series”


Axe (2013)

Axe / . . . 2 informal a musical instrument, esp. a jazz musician’s saxophone or a bass guitar.                         – New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edition (2005)

Axe . . . 2. In olden warfare : A battle-ax.                                                                                                                   – The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (1971)


A young musician with his axe.

Photograph by Clara Grimm                                                                                                                                ©2014 by Clara Grimm. All rights reserved.



Axe (2013)

Sculpture by Dave and Sharynne Wilder – shipworm-riddled dockwood.

 Part of our sculpture “Conflict Series”



Norseman (2013)


Norseman (2013)
Sculpture by Dave and Sharynne Wilder – Grey poplar limb, charred and sea-worn, copper tubing, dockwood base

Part of our sculpture “Conflict Series”

If you’ve ever seen images of fighting men from Early Medieval times, whether stone carvings of Vikings or the Bayeux Tapestry, you’ll see why we thought of this found piece of worn driftwood as a Norse warrior, with his typical helmet with its long nose guard, as rendered by the artists of the time.

Stork (2013)


Sculpture by Dave and Sharynne Wilder – Shipworm-riddled dockwood, rusted and polyurethaned rebar, dockwood base.

Part of our sculpture “Animal Series”

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s