Storm-Damaged Tree In Wales Gets Transformed Into A 50-Foot Hand Worth $16,000

Simon O’Rourke is an environmental artist from North Wales who specializes in wood sculpture. He learned through a friend that the tallest tree in Wales had been storm damaged and was due to be felled. Natural Resource Wales, the organization in charge of the site, was going to commission an artist to carve the tree, so O’Rourke submitted a design. He had researched the area and discovered that the woodlands that contained the tree were known as the “Giants of Vyrnwy,” so he decided on a giant hand to symbolize the tree’s last attempt to reach for the sky. It wasn’t long before O’Rourke was notified that his design was the winner and he could begin carving. It took O’Rourke just six days, using chainsaws and grinders, to carve the giant hand, finishing off the sculpture by coating it in tung oil, a natural plant-based oil that’s safe for the waterways in close proximity to the sculpture. Once finished, O’Rourke named the 50-foot carving “Giant Hand of Vyrnwy.” If you wanted to get a personal sculpture like the hand, you would have to pay around $16,000.