Saturday, 28 March 2009

Living tree sculpture

This week we head down under, where Peter Cook (Pook), a sculptor and jeweller, and his partner Becky Northey, also an artist, run Pooktre: a plantation where they grow trees into sculptured furniture. Some trees are harvested and sold as standalone pieces, while others are permanent living creations.

Pook began doing this work on his 162 acre plantation in Queensland, after his find of a valuable piece of ambergris on the beach at Fraser Island alowed him to fund the land purchase.

His first attempt at tree sculpture in 1987 with some willow cuttings, was ruined 8 years later by his livestock. In the last 10 to 12 years however, things have really taken shape (sorry!), with the couple learning lots about shaping the wattle trees from their experiences during drought.

Pook (shown here sitting in a tree chair, planted in 1998) takes 5 commissions each year. He will help people grow their tree in their own garden or will grow it for them at Pooktre. Clients then have the choice of Pooktre harvesting, drying and finishing the completed work or transplanting it to the chosen location as a living tree.

There are lots of photos of the trees (as well as jewellery and other work) on their website

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