Entries in wicker (2)


Brian's Hawk

This one is mostly Brian's creation. Normally, his willow sculptures are huge. 8' tall scarecrows, 25' long sea serpents, and life sized moose - that's just Brian. This time he thought he'd see if he could work willow on a much smaller scale. This fellow is about the size you'd expect for a red tailed hawk, sitting about 20" tall. Brian did all of the willow work, I just helped with the other parts (eyes, talons, beak). We got it done just in time to enter it in the Cornish Fair!


It's Not An Emu!

Leaves Around a Hole, Andy GoldsworthyI'm a huge fan of transient art. It's not really a style or a medium so much as an approach. The artist creates something that is not intended to last for any significant length of time. My first exposure to it was an article I read years ago about Andy Goldsworthy, an artist who wanders around outdoors and makes beautiful things out of ... pretty much everything. He stacks rocks, he arranges leaves around a hole in the ground, he stitches twigs together with thorns, he breaks icicles and re-freezes them into new shapes. He takes photos of each creation, and the photo serves as a record. Then he leaves the creation itself wherever he made it. Sometimes they last for years, sometimes they last for minutes. Tibetan sand mandalas are another form of transient art, one that is ritualistically destroyed upon completion. Making a snowman, drawing in the dirt with a stick, writing your name in the air with a sparkler ... all transient art.

Brian's wicker heron, with a little friendOddly, I don't like to make transient art myself that often. I guess I prefer my creations to last, at least for a little while. Brian, however, has created quite a few pieces of transient art. You can see some of them on his blog, mainly his wicker sculptures. He uses all sizes and types of sticks and weaves them together to create sculptures, some of them quite large. He's made several life-sized moose, a big sea serpent that he installed in a pond near where we lived back in CT, a giant spider he put up on a snow fence out in WY. Most of them last a year or two, maybe more, but eventually the elements turn them back into a pile a sticks. Sometimes birds build nests inside them, sometimes vines grow up around them. Each one makes me smile. One of his more recent wicker sculptures was a huge heron that he built for a friend of ours. It lived at her house for a while, but it kept falling over on her hilly property so she suggested he bring it back to our house where it might be able to stand up straight and be seen by more people. A few weeks ago, Brian installed it off to the south side of our yard near a swampy area. Well, it's caused quite a stir in the little town of Plainfield. People have been slamming on the brakes as they drive by, or turning into our neighbor's driveway (since it's closer to the heron than our own driveway) and driving really slowly past the heron. Some people get out and take photos. Some people honk at it to see if it will move. Several people have asked if we need help catching our escaped emu. The emu thing always makes me laugh. Because, you know, we have so many emus roaming about rural New Hampshire ...? Heh. I know why people make that leap. It's a 7 foot tall bird-like object, and emus are sometimes raised as farm animals. But it doesn't happen to look anything like an emu. It's shaped very much like a heron. But herons don't get that tall, so I guess people settle on emu. Maybe I should post a sign up by the road that reads, "Don't Feed The Anti-Emu!"