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Malcolm Holland

DRIFTWOOD HORSES

Artist’s life-size beach sculptures made from driftwood

  • James Doran-Webb, 46, made horses out of driftwood he found on beaches
  • The Birmingham-based master craftsman gave each horse moveable limbs
  • He made sculptures for an upcoming Chinese New Year party in Singapore
  • The coming Chinese New Year will be known as ‘Year of the Wooden Horse’
  • Three horses each contain around 400 individual pieces of reclaimed wood
  • They are all built around a stainless-steel skeleton and stand roughly 6ft tall

These majestic horses galloping through the sea may look real but are in fact made from thousands of pieces of driftwood salvaged from the shore. 
The life-size sculptures are the work of Birmingham-based master craftsman James Doran-Webb, 46, who spent a painstaking six months assembling them as part of celebrations to mark Chinese New Year in Singapore. 
Each of the three sculptures stands at around 6 ft tall – or 16 hands as horse lovers might say – and is made from roughly 400 pieces of driftwood of varying sizes built around a stainless steel skeleton.
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Birmingham-based master craftsman James Doran-Webb (pictured on horse) spent a painstaking six months assembling the sculptures as part of celebrations to mark Chinese New Year in Singapore

Each horse weighs around half a tonne and can take the weight of five people.
Doran-Webb made all three with movable limbs and neck so they can be arranged into lifelike poses, as these stunning photographs show. 

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The trio of horses were constructed for the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. They will take pride of place in their Chinese New Year celebration, which fittingly marks the coming ‘Year of the Wooden Horse’

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James Doran-Webb pays locals in his adopted hometown of Cebu, Phillipines, to collect the wood from nearby beaches. For every kilo of wood salvaged, he plants a seedling at one of several sites around the city

The wood Doran-Webb uses for his sculptures is around 50 years old, and according to the craftsman it is ideal to work with.
He said: ‘It is an oily wood so it withstands weather and it is very tensile – it’s a dream to work with.’
‘I started out with sketches of the horses then once I was happy with them I made miniature models of them, which took a month on its own,’ he added.
Doran-Webb said the next step was to make a large plywood template to weld the stainless steel frame onto.
He said: ‘Putting the driftwood onto the sculpture took about three months. The large bits go on first followed by the more intricate pieces.’

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