Tree Troll of Kim Beaton


Seattle-based Kim Beaton with the help of 25 volunteers built a 12-foot tall tree troll out of completely non-toxic materials. In 2006, the artist and a team of volunteers spent 15 days creating a unique tree troll out of papier mache, wood, metal plates and other materials. The sculpture looks realistic if that is possible, but it’s the friendly face inspired by her father that gets your attention.  In about forty minutes after waking from a dream about her father, she had a rough sculpture that said what she wanted. The next morning she began making phone calls, telling her friends that in 6 days time they would begin on a new large piece. Fifteen days after starting, they were done.


The flexible building material was developed by the University of Michigan and has been used to improve earthquake resistance in structures. Beaton molded it around plywood to make the sculpture. The strength of the material meant people could enjoy the sculpture without risk of damage. Resembling something from “The Hobbit”, It’s public art and people should touch it and kids can play on it. The troll has been given a coat of buttermilk, and blended moss and lichen, in the hope of attracting further growth.


Beaton moved from Montana to New Zealand to work on The Hobbit with Weta Workshops.

Hobbit House

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. And in Chester County, Pennsylvania, there lived a lucky man who built his own hobbit house. He hired architect Peter Archer to build the 600-square-foot guest building near his home as a storage and display repository for his J.R.R. Tolkien memorabilia. Yes, this guy has an awesome hobbit house in his 16-acre yard just to store his Tolkien collection. The house was built using stones from a collapsed 18th-century wall running through the property, with additional features custom-built to match Tolkien’s drawings.
The 54-inch diameter Spanish cedar door – naturally with a knob right in the center just as Tolkien described – opens with a single hand-forged iron hinge. Several craftsmen said they couldn’t hang the 150-pound door on one hinge but a Maryland blacksmith “succeeded on the first try,” Archer said. A Delaware cabinet-maker built the mahogany windows, including the large arched “butterfly window” – its Art Nouveau-ish flourishes inspired by Tolkien’s own drawings. The roof is covered with clay tiles handmade in France. Inside the small dwelling are curved arches and rafters of Douglas fir. The rustic structure cleverly hides its thoroughly modern heating, cooling, electrical and security systems.

Gollum Catches Lunch at Wellington Airport

The muck and pool is nice and cool, so juicy sweet! Our only wish, to catch a fish, so juicy sweet! Well, yes. Exactly. We all know how Gollum liked his lunch, wriggly and raw, but how would you like to be reminded of the fact while you are having yours?

Very much so. This amazing – and huge – sculpture has just been installed at New Zealand’s Wellington Airport. It has been designed by Weta Workshop which designed props and effects for The Hobbit trilogy of movies coming our way very soon. It also gave them the opportunity to not so gently remind people that the country was used as the stunning stand-in for Middle-earth in the movies.

First image credit by Brendon Doran, as are several others from the Flickr Photostream he shares with Keryn. Please visit their website,