March 30th, 2006

hat

Why don't more trees have shapes in them?







Today was a rainy San Francisco day. I sat in a cafe and read an art magazine called Cabinet. It had an interesting article about an "arborsculptor" named Richard Reames. Arborsculptors guide the growth of trees, using grafting and other methods, to form shapes of their choosing. Although arborsculpture can technically be considered a subset of topiary gardening, topiary is typically considered to be work with foilage, whereas arborsculpture is associated exclusively with trunks.

I was sitting in the cafe because our landlord is replacing our closets, and the contractors were working in our apartment. I thought about our upcoming wood closet doors. I felt the chair under me, dead wood, and wondered what it would be like if my chair was made of living trees. Reames actually wrote a book called How To Grow A Chair. You probably need a "green thumb." Unfortunately, I have more of a "death thumb," as our sadly departed ficus can attest.