Dinosaur's bark is worse than its bite

By Ben Irwin

Northland sculptor Greg Maddox shows off Woody, the raptor.
Northland sculptor Greg Maddox shows off Woody, the raptor.

Fancy having a 4m-long, 2m-high dinosaur staring at you from your backyard? Well, now you can - if you dare.

Northland sculptor Greg Maddox, who also works in signage, has put his latest creation up for sale - a pohutukawa-driftwood raptor, which he expects to sell for between $4000 and $5000.

Mr Maddox, who lives in Waipu with his partner Sarah Archer, has been making driftwood sculptures for the past three years through his company Tapatai Driftwood Creations.

Past sculptures have included lizards, a weta and a 1.2m high pukeko, which he sold to a Hawkes Bay vineyard. He had also recently sold a full-size driftwood dairy cow to a client in Christchurch for $3000.

"They're kind of big-ticket items," Mr Maddox said.

The raptor, for sale on Trade Me, was his first sculpture of a dinosaur.

"I was sticking to a lot of Kiwi-type things, because they obviously sell quite well."

But he let his creativity take over as the sculptures became more popular.

"It just kind of snowballed and they started getting bigger and bigger and bigger."

Mr Maddox makes the sculptures using what he calls a "cladding technique".

"It's basically an exoskeleton, that's why you can still lift them."

The hardest part was making them free-standing, which was achieved by strategically using heavy and light pieces of wood for balance, as well as hollow sections, he said.

Mr Maddox and Ms Archer collected driftwood every three weeks - 2.5 tonnes at a time - on trips down the East Cape and towards Taranaki.

- NZ Herald

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