Sculptor turns driftwood into life-size animals


Cindy Martin

Sigrid Vanek takes driftwood and sculpts the pieces - with the help of zip ties, screws and nails - into wooden wildlife at her Wrangell waterfront property.

Sigrid Vanek, driftwood sculptor, "raises wildlife" on her Wrangell beachfront property.

This summer, a curious bear made an appearance for Bearfest, the annual event now underway in town.

For years, the life-size, captivating animals have delighted family members and neighbors, startled tour ship passengers, and amused visitors from around the world who ask permission to photograph the wooden zoo.

Born and raised in Palmer, Vanek was introduced to Wrangell by Ken Lewis. Their annual Wrangell visits over 28 years stretched from a couple weeks to months. With the exception of 2020, visits got l...

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