Caring for Your Wood Sculpture
Sculptures are generally created from a whole green (wet) log and will dry out over time. As the sculpture dries, some cracking and checking is to be expected and can add to the charm and character of the sculpture. This is a natural part of how the wood contracts and expands depending on the climate. However, there are some steps that can be taken that may help minimize the cracking and also ways to fix cracks that may become too much of a distraction.
Keeping your sculpture out of direct sun and weather will serve it best. Locations like shaded areas or covered porches are good examples of where to showcase the sculpture.
Drastic temperature changes should be avoided. Slowly acclimate the sculpture to new locations over a few days. Do not place it next to any heat source.
Good drainage is a must. Keep the sculpture up off the ground a few inches so water is not absorbed into the bottom of sculpture.
Mold and mildew can be treated with any products made for that purpose.
Monitor for insects or insect damage and treat with appropriate products.
Resealing or finishing is a personal preference (glossy, satin or matte finish) and will depend on the location of the sculpture(dependent on how much direct exposure to the elements). A sculpture kept under an outside roof will look better longer than one exposed to direct rain, snow, and sun. I use an exterior grade spar urethane like Minwax or Varathane. When you wish to revitalize your sculpture I would recommend using the same or similar type product, letting the sealer run down into the cracks to protect the newly exposed raw wood. (follow direction on product)
If you wish to repair cracks you should wait until the sculpture has totally dried(years). Otherwise it will continue to dry and crack. This will ruin any repair made too early.
I do offer sculpture maintenance/service. This maintenance could occur anytime after the sculpture starts to show weathering. I can also fix any large cracks (after the crack has reached the center of the log). I use wood shims and glue, then carve, color, and reapply the appropriate finish to make it look new again.
Wild Wood Sculptures LLC