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This is Ahi Akua - my first carving and my first sculpture.  She was realized using a chain saw, angle grinder, heavy Dremel tool, light Dremel tool, rasps, small carving tools and, finally, sand paper.  At 53 inches, she is approximately 3/4 lifesize.  Wherever possible, I tried to take advantage of the natural grain and fiber of the Mexican Fan Palm from which she was carved.  

I had an absolute blast with Ahi Akua!  Working in three dimensions was challenging and exciting.  Fun!  There was, too, an almost eerie sense as things progressed that I was not really shaping anything but, rather, just helping a presence to emerge.  In truth, it seemed that way since, unlike most of my paintings, I did no preliminary drawings for Ahi Akua but simply trusted my instinct, picked up my tools and went to work.  Then it was just a matter of following the path that opened in front of me.  

I've inclulded a lot of images because this process was just such a huge pleasure - and in the hope you will share in my pure joy at how Ahi Akua turned out.

Tom Leedy, September 2014