Robert the Wood Carver at Blue Lagoon Island

The first thing visitors notice on their Blue Lagoon Island adventures is often the lagoon – and who can blame them? A calm pool of azure, the lagoon stuns even the Dolphin Encounters and Blue Lagoon Island teams.

But, while the water is often what gets visitors to Blue Lagoon Island, what keeps them there is the plethora of activities and sights to do and see while on the island. Kayaking, snorkeling, bird watching and taking on the aqua park are some of the most popular ways to stay busy. Those after a more laid-back experience appreciate eating their fill at the buffet lunch, sipping on frosty drinks and snoozing amongst the coconut trees.

They aren’t the only ones who get to discover what Blue Lagoon Island has to offer its guests. Robert Maycock uncovers the coral island’s delights regularly when he sets out in search of wood to carry on practicing his “gift”.

A self-taught wood carver for 13 years, Maycock has been based on Blue Lagoon Island since 2011. Specializing in the local wood found abundantly in the island’s green spaces, such as mahogany, kamalame, dilly, pigeon plum and casuarina, Maycock carves up staffs, wall hangings and other ornaments that reflect the country’s culture and natural environment.

“Sometimes I’ll look at a particular tree and free style it from there,” he said. “I’ll decide whether I want to do a bird, or whether I want to do a cane. Sometimes, after the fact, I’ll cut a piece down and have an idea, so it’s about the feel.”

Though he relies on his own creativity most of the time, he also welcomes customers who are after bespoke pieces.

His process begins with cutting a piece of the native tree, then using a hammer or chisel to peel away the bark. From there, he said “it’s pretty much pencil and chisel”. Many of his creations feature variation in hue – the result of a careful burning technique which results in darkened areas and is used to enhance certain features on the carvings.

Surprisingly light in weight, his pieces are relatively easy to travel with, and are popular with guests interested in carrying with them a small, but literal, piece of the island to remember.

He can be found at the lagoon side with his sister, who makes straw work, from Monday to Friday.