Much of my art has a natural theme. Trees and landscapes appear all of the time. I have been creating wire trees for about 4 years. I have tried to make all variations of trees and it didn’t hit me until someone sent me examples of bonsai types of wire trees that I noticed how much I use trees as metaphor for self. The bonsai type of tree although beautiful and I could respect the skill of the artist, seem sad to me. Their trunks are strong but crooked; their leaves leaning so far to the side or almost to the ground; their roots so contained in a shallow pot and their growth so controlled through pruning.
To make a wire tree I start with the leaves which I tend to group in threes (cause three is a magic number) and I work from the leaf, to twig, to branch, to limb, to trunk then the roots.
I like my trees to look like they are reaching out in all directions. I like them to have room for things to sit. People have used them to hang jewelery on and I have one that holds a hummingbird nest. There are levels of branches growing off the trunk because the branches signify the time when new growth happens; in intervals not all at once but all connected. My trunks are created by binding all of those wires from the branches and carrying them down to create the roots. The trunk is wrapped repeatedly to keep those connections strong. The roots are headed in all different directions to create balance and most of my trees are mounted on a rock so they have a firm foundation.
I have been asked what I have done to make my kids so great. Someone told me my 15-year-old boy was so wonderful he was “yummy”. My response is roots and wings. You give them security and the knowledge of home. Roots. But you have to know that those roots continue to grow beyond just the parents; they need to go beyond to find their community and home. They need to figure out what will ground them and what support they need to grow. Then as a parent you need to provide them with experiences to challenge them and help them find what will help them reach their personal goals. Once you have provided the experience you have to sit back and let them find the meaning from it for themselves. Wings.
My trees stand up straight, reach out and look for balanced growth… I think I will be my tree.