Pruning & Topiary

ARBORSCULPTURE SOLUTIONS FOR A SMALL PLANET by Richard Reames. Arborsculpture is much more than topiary. In a review of this book Chris Dodge wrote these comments. Imagine a room - or even an entire house - made of living trees. Picture spiraling tree trunks, artfully knotted branches, and growing chairs rooted to the ground. The art is called arborsculpture, and in his book by the same title, Richard Reames describes the unusual practice from its historical roots to its contemporary upsurge here and there around the world. Illustrated with black-and-white photos and drawings, Reames book looks at such related practices as pleaching (the technique of weaving branches together into a flat plane . . . to create a sort of hedge on stilts), bonsai, and espalier, an art form in which trees are trained to a flat plane and then shaped, a practice that reached its peak in mid-19th-century France. Reames, author of the 1995 book How to Grow a Chair, profiles such progenitors as Axel Erlandson and his California-based Tree Circus, describes artists such as Joseph Beuys who have used living trees for sculptures, and introduces the work of contemporary arborsculptors. Finally, he gives tips on what he has learned about trees properties and the practices of grafting, budding, framing, and otherwise shaping them. Is the practice natural? Arguably so. Trees sometimes naturally grow together on their own, a process known as inosculation, but Reames and his curious kindred spirits take it to a new level. For Reames, whose sense of wonder is paired with respect for trees as living beings, trees are not toys but teachers with crucial lessons for humanity. His self-published book conveys this clearly, along with a sense of movement toward a more coherent vision. This shows the art of shaping live trees into various shapes. ISBN: 9780964728080 Title: ARBORSCULPTURE SOLUTIONS FOR A SMALL PLANET Author: REAMES RICHARD Year: 2005 Format: PAPERBACK Pages: 214

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