Artist Statement

My medium is hand collected driftwood gathered from the California and Oregon coastlines.  Each piece is a one of a kind creation, as unique as the tree itself.  I collect pieces for their natural energy and flow, but more importantly, the pieces speak to me.

 I am mainly a figurative sculptor, my inspiration draws from the works of Rodin, Michelangelo, Classical Greek Art, Art Nouveau, and the more modern Manuel Neri.  My method is subtractive, I carve away the parts that are not the figure, while saving other rough and raw parts that are essential to seeing the story of the driftwood's journey.  

There is a lot of letting go in my work.  I want the piece to speak it's truth.  I try not to dictate too much of what I want, and instead listen to the driftwood and hear its story.  The design process is very much about what to carve, and what to leave alone.  The direction of a piece can change dramatically due to a natural flaws in the wood. I push and the wood pushes back. The wood always wins!

  The journey of the driftwood is an important metaphor for my work.  From a tree proudly standing in the forest, to a twisted, wind torn, bleached grey fragment lying in the sand....beautiful, but violently changed from what it once was.  I believe that driftwood tells an ancient tale of evolution and beauty, of life and death.  This is the story that I long to hear, that I hope to set free in each sculpture as I create.  It is the story of the tree, of the forest, and of the sea, and has now become entwined with my story as well.

 I was once told that Native American Indians called trees "the standing people" and that they believed that driftwood was their "hair".  When you look at my sculptures, imagine the the storm, hear the waves, and see the standing people with their hair flying in the wind.  Thank you for listening.


Crystal Lockwood was born in Sacramento, California in 1963. She received her B.A. in Art History from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1992.   Crystal currently exhibits her work mainly in Hawaii, California, and Washington State.  Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, she is also in numerous private collections throughout the United States and Europe.

Crystal began sculpting at the young age of 17, learning as an apprentice of Sigmund de Tonancour. Sculpting for the past 42 years, she has won numerous awards in exhibits on the West Coast and in Hawaii.  Crystal is well known for her etherial, metamorphic sculptures of the human figure created from found driftwood.  She personally selects each piece of wood for its natural energy and flow, incorporating the human form into the driftwood.  Crystal has also expanded her practice to include stone and bronze sculpture.

Presently, Crystal is a member of the prestigious San Francisco Art Group, The Red Umbrellas, whose mission is to promote art in public places, and to enhance direct and frequent contact between artists and the public, for the benefit of both.


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