What began as a personal tattoo design turned into a unique three-dimensional wooden sculpture

It all started with a flash of inspiration from looking at some of AJ Fosik’s sculptures, which led me to think I could create something similar using an old tattoo design I did for myself a few years back. Re-working my tattoo design, I managed to split the design into individual elements that could then be assembled on top of one another – creating a layered effect.

After creating a paper mockup to ensure the idea would work, I then researched possible materials that could be used to create the sculpture. Settling on 4mm Kauri plywood, the artwork was then submitted to be laser cut and the end result exceeded my expectations. The burnt edges where the plywood was cut add depth and contrast to the piece, with the scoring and engraving adding some subtle, yet effective detail. The shadows generated by exposing the sculpture to different lighting conditions make photographing it a lot of fun.

Needing something to present the sculpture in – with some assistance from my good friend Richard – we built a boxed picture frame. I then stained certain areas of the boxed frame with a dark brown to match the look of the burnt edges on the sculpture’s layers – creating a nice theme. Overall the sculpture and frame complement each other well. The strong contrast present, makes for an eye catching result.

Due to my Norwegian ancestry, the design is based on historical and mythical norse symbolism and art. This can be seen in the form of; raven wings, Thor’s hammer, the triple horns of Odin, and various other norse inspired embellishments. There is also a snake present in the design which represents ‘the year of the snake’ as I was born in 1989 – if you look, the snake and the large drinking horn below it form either an 8 or a 9 (89), further symbolising the date of my birth.