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