Kirsty Elson Transforms Driftwood and Detritus into Whimsical Animal Sculptures

All images © Kirsty Elson, shared with permission

For Kirsty Elson, a sliver of driftwood or a scrap of metal is more than just a piece of detritus or trash. She sees a sleepy goat in some old nails and hunks of worn timber or a docile and curious donkey from rusty rods and brush bristles.

Elson has long been attracted to found objects, giving old elements new life. She previously focused on creating small cottages and seaside scenes, but recently she has shifted her attention to expressive, whimsical animals, which perch on pegs, roll on wheels, or warm themselves with little scarves. “I’m thoroughly enjoying this new path, as I can be even more playful and inject some humour into my work,” the artist says, “which I think is a nice distraction in these troubled times.”

Find more on Elson’s Etsy shop, and follow her on Instagram for updates.


a fox sculpture made from repurposed, painted wood with rusty nails for legs

a sculpture of a polar bear made from driftwood

a driftwood sculpture of a donkey

a small sculpture of an elephant made from old metal and some sewing machine elements

a driftwood sculpture of a tropical bird perched on a peg

an alligator sculpture made from repurposed wood, with a hinged tail

a sculpture of a horse made from an old brush and repurposed wood and nails

a small wooden sculpture of a mallard duck made from repurposed found materials

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Author: Kate Mothes