Making natural art out of driftwood
boss and proposed an idea.
With his boss’ tools, he would started creating his first massive feat — a towering tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur to sit as a roadside attraction.
The fascination grew into a passion as the commissions began to roll in.
Six years later, he bought tools of his own and moved to Whanganui in 2014, where he now works from a large warehouse.
“Driftwood lends itself perfectly to the shape of animals,” he said.
“It’s nice to make nature out of nature.”
The creative process is one that Jack finds meditative.
He said it helps quiet his mind and washes away everything else.
Jack’s latest creation, the godwit, was described as an engineering feat before it was even a sculpture.
Perched on the top of a jarrah hardwood power pole, it needed to withstand high winds and coastal weather.
Jack said he still won’t know how it will hold up until the next strong wind.
However, the driftwood wings do hide reinforced steel.
Over the years he has made hundreds of sculptures including a kiwi that sits at the National Park Ski Village, but the most popular commission was the moa, with Jack creating a total of 48.
This year he hopes to create an exhibition of eco trophies — indoor, wall-hung animal heads made of driftwood, mounted like hunters’ trophies.
“No animals have to get killed, but you can still have a head on the wall,” he said.
He describes the eco trophies as more detailed refined artwork that you would be proud to put on the wall in your lounge room or man cave.
“Hunters will like them because they can have an elephant on the wall and nonhunters will like them because no animal has to die,” he said.
But his ultimate dream would be to get some commissions abroad.
WHANGANUI artist Jack Marsden-Mayer.
A giant driftwood Godwit perched pride of place at Foxton’s Top 10 Holiday Park.