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'Amazing' angel sculpture made entirely from driftwood

image copyrightBrendan Rawlings
image captionThe statue will be placed on Exmouth beach for a single day on 29 February to raise money for the RNLI

A sculptor has created a 6ft-tall (1.8m) statue of an angel entirely from driftwood.

Exeter-based artist Brendan Rawlings created the piece to help fundraise for the RNLI charity.

The sculpture, hewed mostly from an old railway sleeper, weighs nearly 13 stone (80kg) and took a week to make.

Mr Rawlings plans to tour the angel around beaches in Devon and Cornwall, where he collects the wood, starting in Exmouth on 29 February.

He said he was inspired to create the sculpture after recalling a painting of an angel he had forgotten about for nearly a decade.

"I was just lying in bed one night and it popped into my head... I thought that would look amazing in driftwood.

"You can use the natural form of the wood, once you've sliced [the driftwood] it looks like a feather," said Mr Rawlings, who runs the Zen Wood Design company.

image copyrightBrendan Rawlings
image captionThe statue is 6ft (1.8m) tall and weighs nearly 13 stone (80kg)

The first task for working with the driftwood was drying it out in a kiln to "make sure there's no creepy crawlies in it", he said.

Initial sculpting was done with a chainsaw, to create the general outline, and the fine detail was created with a chisel and sandpaper.

image copyrightBrendan Rawlings
image captionThe majority of the statue is made out of a former oak railway sleeper
image copyrightBrendan Rawlings
image captionBrendan Rawlings with his angel statute

He said was inspired to raise money for the lifeboat charity because the recent difficult weather conditions "made me think 'these guys deserve the extra cash'."

"Most of them are volunteers and it's giving something back to where I live, that local community," he added.

image copyrightBrendan Rawlings
image captionMr Rawlings used a chainsaw to create the initial shape and finished off the fine detail with a chisel and sandpaper

It is currently on display in Torre Abbey's Spanish Barn in Torquay as part of a exhibition put on by the Torbay Guild Of Artists.

Related Topics

  • RNLI
  • Exmouth

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