Showing posts with label Tree Sculpture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tree Sculpture. Show all posts

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Bent Bamboo Bicycle

This bicycle is made from sustainable bamboo material and was designed by Alexander Vittouris, a design student at Australia’s Monash University. The young designer envisions a bicycle that isn’t built, but rather “grown” – the bent stalks are formed into the smooth curves gradually, while the bamboo stalk grows. (a concept that is inspired by ‘arborsculpture’ – the process in which tree branches are fixed into shapes as the tree grows). Vittouris has named the bamboo bike the “Ajiro”, It was in the running for various sustainable design awards in 2011 but as far as I can tell is still only in the prototype stage.

The manufacturing idea made Mr Vittouris a finalist for the James Dyson Award 2011, part of the Australian International Design Awards.
He said the bamboo frame would be fitted with other eco-friendly parts to make a functioning vehicle.
"It is a total rethink of how the manufacturing process works," Mr Vittouris, who designed the tricycle as part of a masters project, said.
"This concept is green and clean because the plant does all the work - the plant also acts as carbon storage and it eventually composts back into the soil."

Friday, 2 May 2014

Piano Tree

California state University, Monterey Bay  "Piano Tree"  in a forested area on their Disc Golf course.  A living installation by artist Jeff Mifflin.

Although the piano itself is believed to be just a stage prop which was cut apart then placed around the tree behind the California State University music department by artist Jeff Mifflin, the tree carried on growing and parting the timber of the piano for some time until a drunkard decided to smash it up.
Watch a video of an interview with Jeff Mifflin here.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Can't See the Tree for the Wood

When British forces captured the Oosttaverne Wood from the Germans during the Battle of Messines in June 1917, they were surprised to find that one of the trees wasn’t a tree at all—it was a steel-and-iron imitation. This camouflaged “tree” had been used by the Germans as an outlook post to spy on the British lines without being detected.

The German “tree” found in Oosttaverne Wood

The British and French also used metal “trees” for observation during World War I. The Germans called the “trees” Baumbeobachter, which literally means “tree observer.” Because the enemy frontlines were watched so closely, any obvious observation methods would be easily spotted. So both sides used Baumbeobachters since they could easily blend into their surroundings.

An Australian-built Baumbeobachter

The Baumbeobachters were hollow steel tubes covered by iron “bark” textured to look like the real thing. The base of the steel tree widened and was buried in the ground to provide support.

The base to a German camouflage tree. This would have been sunk into the ground to provide support for the tree and also to allow access unseen by the enemy.

Close up of the coating on the steel ‘bark’

The observer would access the top of the observation post by climbing inside through a small opening close to the ground then ascending a narrow ladder, not much wider than a man’s boot. The rungs of the ladder were not very far apart, as the small circumference of the interior would prevent anyone from taking large steps.

The entrance to a tree, showing initials carved in its interior by an observer, January 1918.
A section of the ladder from the tree, compared to the size of a man\'s foot.

Once the observer climbed the ladder, he would sit on a small seat attached to the side of the tube. The seat was lower than the sight holes so any bullets or shrapnel that made it in through those openings wouldn’t directly hit the person inside; instead the observer used a periscope to see out.

Section of steel tube with the small and uncomfortable steel seat.

When an army decided they needed a Baumbeobachter, they would find a real tree in a location where they wanted their observation post. They’d have to choose a place along their frontline that was fairly static to put their Baumbeobachter; otherwise, if the line moved, the post would be useless. Then they’d take a picture of the real tree, and the Baumbeobachter would be made to look exactly like the existing tree. Once the army had the fake tree, they would cut down the real tree at night (sometimes under the cover of artillery fire to hide the sound), then put the Baumbeobachter exactly where the old tree was. That way, when the opposing army looked over in the morning, nothing would rouse their suspicions since everything looked exactly the same.

Putting up a camouflage tree (artwork by GC Leon Underwood, 1919)


Sunday, 23 March 2014

Spirit Nests - Jayson Fann

Have you ever wanted to experience the life of a baby bird? How about curling up in a cosy nest perched high in the air? California-based artist Jayson Fann is giving humans that chance, building gigantic nests out of locally harvested tree branches.

The Big Sur Spirit Garden, founded by Jayson Fann, is an International Arts and Cultural Centre located in the beautiful Big Sur valley between the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. 

The nests are made from tree branches that are harvested from local forests. Jayson does this with great respect and care for the trees choosing the branches and carefully cutting them so that the tree is not damaged. He uses mostly Eucalyptus wood, a non-native tree which can often be invasive and crowd out native plants The best branches he gathers from the top of the tree as they are more mature, strong, and have unique spiralling shapes sculpted by wind and time.

After sorting his cuttings by size, he then assembles them in a spiral pattern using the natural flexibility of the wood to lock together the pieces like a basket. He also uses hidden screws for extra strength. Once the nest has reached a certain size, he transports it to its final location, sometimes employing trucks and cranes for his larger pieces. Once on location, he does the final assembly, including weaving it onto a robust base.

This nest required a large quantity of wood and a lot of weaving. It's extremely strong as a result of using thicker branches. You can rent out this nest by the night at the Treebones resort in Big Sur,California.

Source: ht:bigsurspiritg

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Giuseppe Penone: The Hidden Life Within

The image below is one I have skipped past many times while surfing for 'woody wonders' but have only just got round to investigating further.

“My artwork shows, with the language of sculpture, the essence of matter and tries to reveal with the work, the hidden life within.”
–Giuseppe Penone

Giuseppe Penone (born April 3, 1947) is an Italian artist. Penone started working professionally in 1968 in the Garessio forest, near where he was born. He is the younger member of the Italian movement named "Arte Povera", Penone's work is concerned with establishing a contact between man and nature.

Guiseppe Penone carves out a young tree within an older tree to reveal its past, showing us what once grew inside so that it may now "live in the present." Inspired by the quiet slowness of growth in the natural world, the artist asks us to take a moment to stop and think about the concept of time and how there's a common vital force in all living things.

Penone has carved out the wood to reveal its past, showing the tree that grew inside so that it may “live” in the present. Rather than imposing a form, the artist — in contrast to the architect of this space — draws out an existing form.

The next image of  Guiseppe working within the space of this massive tree in my mind captures the enormity of the artists devotion to this piece.

Monday, 10 February 2014

River Mirrors by Caryn Moberly

These stunning mirrors by Caryn Moberly can be hung horizontally or vertically and have an amazing fluid feel to them.

Caryn Moberly is a British furniture designer whose designs are recognised for their originality and fun. Many of her designs are inspired by natural shapes.

Pippy Oak River Mirror.    Size 1.3m x 0.70m

Although most of Caryn's designs use burred elm, the example above is of pippy oak. Here is how Caryn describes her mirrors.  “I love my river mirror design because it has all the elements of a real river valley. The shape of the banks is created by the effect of natural elements on the tree, the location of the tree and its history. The knotty burrs represent rock formations. Even the annual rings in the wood represent contour lines on a map.

I like the way they manage to combine a very modern rectangular shape with a wild natural form.

This is a particular favourite of mine from Caryn's collection for the green tinge in the grain.

She has exhibited at a number of prestigious shows and has been selected to exhibit with the British European Design Group. Caryn has an MA in Furniture Design and Technology at Buckinghamshire New University.

Caryn Moberly's web site:

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Chinese Leaf Carvings

Meticulously Handcrafted Chinese Leaf Carvings

What you see below are custom crafted, hand-cut illustrations on dried and treated Chinar leaves. The process involves removing the thin layers of leaf while keeping the vein structure intact.

As the name suggests, leaf carving consists of literally carving an image on to a tree leaf, specifically the leaf of the Chinar tree, a tree native to India, Pakistan and China that bears a close resemblance to the leaf on the maple tree.
"This is a relatively new art form according to Dean Prator, a man in Los Angeles who sells customized carved leaves online. And that's amazing, considering art has been around since the dawn of humanity and trees have been around even longer. "As far as I can tell, it goes back to 1994, when an artist name Huang Tai Shang created this and got in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Creating leaf art is a long and complex process. Leaves are put through a 60 step process such as, manually cutting and removing the outer surface of the leaf while leaving the leafs veins intact which add detail into the subject matter of the carving. Pressing, curing and dying are also just a few of the steps needed to prepare the leaf. 

After special processing, the leaf blade forms a natural permanent pigment, so the colour is stable, and corrosion resistant. An anti-aging treatment helps the leaves exceed the durability of thick paper. The size of these leaves vary since no two leaves are exactly the same. Each leaf is approximately 8 to 10 inches in size. The finished product is strong, durable, natural and beautiful.