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Van Duyn Makes First Sculptural Items from Historic North Carolina Magnolia


Raleigh, NC -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/26/2015 -- Sculptor Jason Van Duyn has produced the first sculptural piece from one of the historic magnolia trees located at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Edenton, North Carolina. Six magnolias (Magnolia grandiflora) were planted sometime in the late 1870s by the former rector, Rev. Dr. Robert Brent Drane. Only three of the original six trees remain today. Jason Van Duyn, a native of Edenton, uses trees that are at the end of their life cycle to produce unique decorative and functional modern wood sculpture.

The most recent magnolia removed was the last tree remaining directly over the "Governors' Graves" (Henderson Walker, Thomas Pollock, and Charles Eden), the memorial site for three of North Carolina's earliest governors. The magnolia was mostly living, but had a severe lean. The church decided to take out the magnolia in January 2015 to minimize risk to the monuments below. The first piece Jason created from the St. Paul's magnolia is a small cremation urn. "Since the tree was still partly alive when it was removed, this first piece was a test piece to determine its color and how much the wood will move as it dries." Jason has acquired most of the tree and has plans to make additional sculptural pieces and cremation urns for sale. "I can already see the tightness of the grain (revealing the tree's age) and the subtle figuring in the wood. I expect there will be some really nice looking pieces to come."

About Jason Van Duyn
Jason is a self-taught woodworker, building on his family's longstanding tradition of agriculture and carpentry. He started Van Duyn Woodwork in 2008 after working in historic restoration, custom furniture, and entryways for years. He specializes in freeform asymmetrical turned wood sculpture and uses reclaimed Southern hardwoods to produce items that are distinct and completely unique. In late 2014 he also launched a line of high quality wooden cremation urns for sale. In that line of urns he also has pet urns for sale and companion urns for two persons focusing on the same distinctive characteristics that he uses in creating sculpture.

You can see examples of his work at

Media Contact:
Van Duyn Woodwork
9533 Bells Valley Dr. Raleigh, NC 27617