This enormous sculpture looks right at home in the forest, among its arboreal brethren. Artist Kim Beaton created the sculpture in 2006 with the help of 25 volunteers using totally non-toxic materials including paper, glue, paint, wood, screws and metal plates. The sculpture stood 10 feet tall, towering over the artist herself. Unfortunately, as it was made of papier mache, the sculpture began to deteriorate over time – but a new one will be created this year.
‘Tree Troll’ was designed in honor of Beaton’s late father, Hezzi Strombo, a former Montana lumberjack, and its facial features are inspired by his own. Says the artist in an interview with Artisan Denizen, “On June 2nd, at 3am, I woke from a dream with a clear vision burning in my mind. The image of my dad, old, withered and ancient, transformed into one of the great trees, sitting quietly in a forest. I leaped from my bed, grabbed some clay and sculpted like my mind was on fire. In 40 minutes I had a rough sculpture that said what it needed to. The next morning I began making phone calls, telling my friends that in 6 days time we would begin on a new large piece. The next 6 days, I got materials and made more calls. On June 8th we began, and 15 days later we were done. I have never in my life been so driven to finish a piece.”
The new Tree Troll will be 12 feet tall, and made of more durable materials. Beaton developed a sculpting method using ‘Pal Tiya,’ a new, environmentally friendly clay that’s safe for outdoors and eliminates the need for traditional steel armatures, chicken wire or molds.
The artist used this material to create a sculpture called ‘Grandpa Dragon,’ which can be seen on her website. While the original Tree Troll was only on display 2 months out of the year at the Bellagio Casino in Los Vegas, the new Tree Troll will live outdoors permanently.