Fort Walton Sculptor Bringing Dead Wood Alive Along Highway 90 in Biloxi

A Fort Walton man is bringing dead wood to life along Highway 90 in Biloxi. Volunteers from Biloxi helped out sculptor Marlin Miller and his family after Hurricane Ivan.

This weekend, he's using his gift of carving to pay it forward.

"After the storm came through, we always wanted to come over here and pick a family out and help them out and we just never did that, and we finally had an opportunity to work with the city, to come in here and rejuvenate some of these dead trees that the storm took," Miller said.

"We've been to a lot of art shows here in the area, and we've been received very well by the people that have bought a lot of my wood carvings, so this is my chance to kind of give back to them," he said.

"We did two cypress this morning. The dolphin went pretty quick, and he turned out good, and the big heron was a real large carving, and it was a real large cypress, and that went relatively quick," Miller said.

"I didn't really select them. Mother Nature did, and I hope that with all the work I do, I don't use any patterns, I don't use any kind of shadows on any of the carvings I do. I just look at the trees and try to release what Mother Nature already put in there," Miller said.

"The seahorse he's going to be about eight feet tall. He's going to have a lot of detail on both sides, and it's going to be pretty neat, pretty neat, pretty awesome," he said.

"I think this project here represents the willingness of Biloxi to come in and rebuild after the storm. It's like Mother Nature dealt them a bad deal with the surge that came in here and killed these trees, and you know, to sit there and turn them back into something else, it's like if you're given lemon, make lemonade."

"Masterpiece, oh boy, I don't know..that's going to have to be left up to the judgment of the people here in town I guess," Miller said.

Miller will be working throughout the day on Sunday. He is working free of charge.