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Fireseed Sculpture

Fireseed wood sculptures were mostly done by a chain saw carver named Jessie Groeschen. We met Jessie the first year we moved to the island in 2003 we loved her carvings right away and bought quite a few to help fill in the many garden spaces. Jessie became a good friend to us over the years since we met her, loves adventure and has done many carvings all over the world and now resides in California carving some big redwoods and sequoias. The tree that is featured in this blog was created by Jessie for us after the 120 foot tall Douglas Fir had to be taken down. The tree was planted in 1910 when the house was built. This tree was massive at 120 feet tall and 6 feet in diameter it was growing into the my girls’ bedrooms. During the winter the tree would wage war on the house dropping pinecones, small and large branches spearing the lawn and garden around it. My kids became more and more afraid as she swayed ominously outside their windows, in very bad wind storms the house sounded like bombs were being dropped on it and we would have the girls sleep in our room….So in 2012 we decided it was time to cut it down for so many years we struggled with the decision it was such an old tree and it was soooooo big and had so much history it was over 100 years old. We had to hire a large crane and a very experienced arborist, he had to climb the tree and take the limbs off one by one then lower them down to the ground. It was so emotional for us and I felt bad for the tree I thought for sure we must be causing so much pain to. The tree was finally cut down and started cutting the trunk up but kept the top for a Christmas tree that year we decorated it and tried to make it pretty but mostly it was misshapen and a little like a Charlie Brown tree. They cut down her long trunk large section by large section they were taken away by our friend and miller Roland who made the large benches and milled the wood for the inside of the barn we still have all the benches that used to be our large tree. The tree was quite sad after the last bit was cut down and only a little of her trunk stuck up over the house I hated seeing it like that I felt like a murderer for a while and the tree seemed angry. That is where Jessie came in she traveled up from California to start carving which was quite the creative process we had no plan for the final product just the feeling that we wanted to honor this great tree that had stood for so long over the tops of so many other of her brothers and sisters. It took Jessie eight weeks to finish and there were some moments that no clear vision was there and for about six weeks nothing seemed to be presenting itself at all, we were all a little concerned that we would not finish in time for our first wedding of the season. Jessie found the spirit of the tree and formed the top with 5 stars one for each member of our family and the extra for all our many pets on one side and the other is the shape of the tree itself. The bottom half in the picture is the face of our tree spirit Shirley is her name and that means bright wood. The name came to me after she was all done and resting peacefully I asked her what her name was and that name was shouted in my head I did not know what the name meant until this year and who would name a tree Shirley anyway what a weird name for a tree but who am I to tell anyone or in this case any giant tree what their name is she can have any name she wants. The whole process was quite long and much was lost that next year for starters the osprey moved to right outside our window and they are very beautiful but very loud and not in a nice way but rather in a 5 am screechy way. My father died that next April and I know he would have thought it was funny that theses birds decided to make a nest right outside of our bedroom window and make so much noise reminding me of him in a good way and sometimes an annoying way just like in life. I could just see him laughing at me saying “well did you really think there would not be unforeseen consequences to cutting down such an old and majestic tree”? He was right of course many things have changed since then, the tree and my father are a quiet part of my life now, the tree watches over the property and all the weddings here at Fireseed and my father watches us from the next world……

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