James Doran Webb Driftwood Sculptures
Who is James Doran Webb?
James Doran Webb creates elegant sculptures out of driftwood, giving what is lost and discarded a new purpose and existence. These are no ordinary sculptures. Most are large, majestic creations based on animals – horses galloping through the sea, a hound on the run, a giant-winged dragon perched on top of a cupola, a bull in his prime, panthers on a tree, a horse in the midst of a steeplechase, a lion as king of the pride, and much more.
Webb’s pieces seem almost alive with motion and intensity. Many are displayed in natural outdoor environments, bringing them to life even more. Webb sometimes arranges them in different poses to provide even more unique angles for spectators to enjoy.
Born in Britain, Webb lives and works in Cebu, Philippines. His breathtaking wildlife art has garnered acclaim and attention all around the world, and it is displayed in various venues, including Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay, at the Chelsea Flower Show in London each year and at other galleries throughout the United Kingdom.
How Webb Works
James Doran Webb has amassed an extensive collection of driftwood, varying from small pieces to large natural sculptures. He finds the wood along the shorelines and riverbeds of the Philippines. He used to collect the wood on his own, but now pays a network of locals to collect it for him. The wood comes from several different tree species and is dense enough to withstand years of exposure to extreme tropical climates as well as intense frosts. It’s an oily wood, which makes it easy for a sculptor to work with as he creates new pieces.
When Webb gets an idea for a sculpture, he makes sketches of what he is imagining and then researches the animal to get a sense of what it is like. He then creates the underlying stainless steel structure of the sculpture and works with his team to assemble driftwood onto the frame, bolting each piece in place.
As he works on a sculpture, his large supply of wood lets him look for the perfect pieces with the natural flow and beauty to fit the image he is striving to create. A horse sculpture takes about 1,500 hours on average from start to finish. It can weigh up to a ton, stand up to six feet tall and can easily support the weight of a couple of people.
Webb works in a large, open studio in Cebu. He creates his sculptures both for himself and for clients from all walks of life, including online millionaires, contemporary art collectors, owners of large estates with room for large animals sculptures, and more.
Buying Sculptures from James Doran Webb
Prices for Webb’s work are not listed on his site. Due to the nature of what he creates, each piece requires a large time commitment on Webb’s part. Commissioning him to create a new sculpture will require a large investment as well. Other sites list his sculptures starting at about $4,700 and ranging up to $47,000. When a client purchases a sculpture from Webb, Webb gives specific instructions about proper installation and care of the pieces. Most pieces will be fine exposed to the elements, but he does provide a severe weather jacket to sling around the sculpture in case of extreme weather. He is always available for questions as well.
A coffee table book of many of Webb’s best sculptures in natural poses will be available soon for about $35 from his website. This magnificent collection of his work is a piece of art in its own right.
Contact James Doran Webb through his website for more information.