What can you say of a diving instructor, who uses his undersea knowledge to create artifacts that brings a piece of sea into your home, complete with divers and sea animals? Brilliant, to say the least. Meet Şamil Demirel, who blends his wood carvings with liquid epoxy or resin to turn his creations into working lamps!
This 36-year-old artist, based in Bornova district of Izmir, Turkey, learned wood carving by watching videos on the internet. His works are influenced by the American artist Ben Young, from whom he learned to combine chemical resin with epoxy and wood.
Demirel runs his workshop in Bornova from a room in his house. The process he adopts is complicated. He first colors the epoxy in its liquid form and fuses it with carved wood. Afterward, he places small wooden animals and objects within the liquid. Once the liquid solidifies on drying up, it becomes transparent and displays what lies within.
The end result is a beautiful piece that combines wood with transparent epoxy, displaying figures, and undersea fauna and flora. What adds to the charm of Demirel’s decorative pieces are the small blub he places in them to turn them into lamps. One gets a surreal feel when these lamps are lighted in the dark.
Wood from lime, olive, and maple trees is Demirel’s preferred choice for his wood carving. This is because the texture of these woods is very smooth and also easy to work with. This allows him to carve it the way he wants. However, other materials used in his pieces come from abroad.
Of course, this makes his artwork expensive. The average price of his decorative products ranges from $280 to $600 on his Etsy shop. This puts them beyond the reach of the common people of Turkey. Thus, his main clientele is from outside his country.
Each of his decorative pieces is handmade. His creations, such as fish in the ocean, baby in the womb, elephant underwater have received critical acclaim on social media, where he has a sizeable following.