Monday, 1 June 2015
Recently unveiled at the MadArt space in Seattle, Middle Fork is the latest sculptural work by artist John Grade who worked with countless volunteers to help build this enormous mould of a 140-year-old tree.
Monday, 29 September 2014
On Bideford Quay, Bideford, Devon, UK there is a tree known locally as the 'Wonky Conker' and this is the story of it's ' Helping Hand'
Some years before the construction of Bideford Quay it was decided to chop down the mature trees on the riverbank in order to facilitate the building of the new car park. Many trees were sawn down on a Sunday before an outraged public became aware of the destruction. One brave fellow sat by the “Wonky Conker” to save it from the chainsaws.
A few years later, Torridge District Council got in contact with local artist explaining that the “Wonky Conker” was in need of some physical support. Mr Butler designed what he called ‘The Helping Hand’ – a metal prop covered to look like a log wrist with oak used to carve the hand & fingers.
Friday, 30 May 2014
I wonder why it's called a 'Bloodwood' tree ?
Below is a picture of the Bloodwood tree (Pterocarpus angolensis) it is a deciduous, spreading and slightly flat-crowned tree with a high canopy. It reaches about 15 metres in height, has dark bark and is native to southern Africa. Bloodwood is also a name given to a native Australian variety (Corymbia Terminalis) and a genus of plants in the mulberry family (Brosimum Rubescens) native to tropical regions of the Americas and used for decorative woodworking.
|Bloodwood tree (Pterocarpus angolensis)|
Pterocarpus angolensis is a kind of teak native to southern Africa, known by various names such as Kiaat, Mukwa, and Muninga. It is also called the Bloodwood tree, so named for the tree’s remarkable dark red coloured sap. A chopped trunk or a damaged branch of the tree starts dripping deep red fluid, almost like a severed limb of an animal. The sticky, reddish-brown sap seals the wound to promote healing.
The red sap is used traditionally as a dye and in some areas mixed with animal fat to make a cosmetic for faces and bodies. It is also believed to have magical properties for the curing of problems concerning blood, apparently because of its close resemblance to blood. The tree is also used for treating many medical conditions such as ringworm, stabbing pains, eye problems, malaria, blackwater fever, stomach problems and to increase the supply of breast milk.
The wood makes high-quality furniture, as it can be easily carved, glues and screws well and takes a fine polish. It shrinks very little when drying from the green condition, and this quality, together with its high durability, makes it particularly suitable for boat building, canoes and bathroom floors.
Because of its great value to the indigenous peoples of the central and southern Africa, these trees are being harvested at an unsustainable rate leading to its decline in recent decades.
Watch the video below of the sawing of a Bloodwood tree.
Tuesday, 13 May 2014
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.