Ghost Log is an 8’ diameter by 44’ long Corten steel sculpture that sits on a historical vintage reclaimed artifact, the head saw and carriage from the original Dickman Lumber Mill. The sculpture is an abstracted cedar log with laser cut skin resembling cedar bark. An 8’ wheel gear at the park end of the log makes witness to the enormous scaled logs that were cut at this site and contributes to a deeper understanding of the industry. The sculpture starts at the park end as a mechanical structure mashed together with an enormous cedar log. It transforms to the organic as it twists and turns, first to form a basket weave midway and then culminates in cedar boughs at the water’s edge. Forged text is integrated in the limbs. The basket form honors the tribal lands of the area and incorporates twining and Lushootseed language. The sculpture, lit inside, creates an ethereal form day and night and serves as a visceral reminder of our past.
The project site is at Dickman Mill Park on Commencement Bay in Tacoma, WA. Dickman Park sits on Indigenous land, the traditional territory of the Coast Salish people. Cedar is sacred to the local Puyallup Tribe and the Ghost Log honors their history through form and text incorporated into the sculpture.
Built in 1889 and destroyed in a fire in 1979, the mill housed a giant head saw that was salvaged and has been in storage for nearly 40 years. The project is built on top of the ruins of the mill. aerial view of the ruins
The head saw dates from 1923 and is an unmodified “ten saw” from the heyday of Tacoma’s lumber mill years, unique in Washington State. The artifact is listed on the Washington State Heritage Register and on the City of Tacoma’s Register of Historic Structures.
Currently recording: Timbre lines: A podcast exploring art, history, community and cedar. release in late 2021
In development: Ghost Timbre, a sound accompaniment that will be accessible on your phone though the park’s website. Ghost Timbre explores this ethereal quality and flushes out the stories and sounds of the park and its history.