Seattle-based artist Kim Beaton enlisted the help of 25 volunteers to build an awe-inspiring 12-foot-tall tree troll exclusively out of non-toxic materials. The kind face of this forest giant was inspired by her late father, a lumberjack from Montana.
In 2006, Kim Beaton and a team of volunteers spent 15 days creating a unique tree troll out of papier mache, wood, metal plates and other non-toxic materials. Although the entire sculpture looks unbelievably realistic, it’s friendly face and beautiful blue eyes immediately grab the viewer’s attention. Trolls are not exactly known as friendly creatures, but Beaton’s is special. The artist explains: “[My father] had died a few months prior at 80 years old. 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 Tree Troll, as everyone calls this incredible sculpture, traveled around Seattle for about two years, making appearances at fairs, markets and parades, and capturing the imagination of audiences both young and old. After seeing him and the reactions of spectators at the Fremont Solstice Parade, the Bellagio Casino decided to buy it, and nowadays the tree troll is put on display in a climate-controlled environment for 2 1/2 months of the year, around Thanksgiving. About a quarter million people get to admire him during that time.
Photos: Kim Beaton