We are proud to announce a brand new product range from Metal Bonsai Studio, wedding cake toppers.
The concept is each colour represents a person in the relationship, with their separate roots each coming from their own unique experiences and life. As the roots meet they start entwining with each other, separate at first but as we move up the trunk they been together seamlessly before becoming branches. The final part is the foliage where the two are mixed together randomly which completed the tree of their relationship and love.
Each tree is carefully made to follow this concept, of which as a happily married man feel encapsulates what love is. The trees are mounted on clear acrylic bases which allow them to blend into the cake seamlessly and after the big event, they can be cleaned off and placed in your home to remind you of the day.
Naturally these trees can be made to match the colour scheme of any wedding, permitting I can get the right wire. If you are interested, then send me a message and we can start planning your cake topper.
One of the most common questions I get from customers and other interested parties is how long does it take to make a wire tree sculpture. This really depends on what style of tree I am making and what size, below I will try and break it down and give some examples of size and time.
Style 1- My traditional style comprises of making a wire tree with either no foliage, like deciduous tree over winter or with my 3d foliage pattern.
Obviously there are different sizes of tree from 2-3″ (50-80mm) which are a relatively small tree all the way up to currently 8-10″ (210-250mm). Beyond this size, different techniques need to be employed and also larger wire. I typically use a 0.3mm thick wire to allow for more texture to the tree and foliage.
With regard to times, below are a few examples of size and time.
Small without foliage- 5hrs
Small with foliage- 7hrs
Medium without foliage- 9hrs
Medium with foliage- 10 to 14hrs
Large without foliage- Unknown as I haven’t made that large a tree without foliage.
Large with foliage- 12 to 18 hrs
Style 2- Crystal or bead wire trees utilise beads between 3 and 8mm in diameter and between 3 and 1000 beads per tree.
Regarding the time these take this is more complicated as there are a variety of leaf patterns and some take a lot longer but as a general rule of thumb, below is a rough example of times.
Small bead tree- 10 to 15 hrs
Large bead tree- 20 to 40 hours! (yes you read that right!)
A note on the large trees, there are anywhere up to 1000 beads and these need threading onto each piece of wire, which can be up to 400 pieces. This is very fiddly work which really eats up the hours.
Obviously these times and sizes are based on my current situation and I am sure in future I will be making bigger trees with more branches and many thousands of crystal beads.
If you have any questions, please do feel free to contact me.
To make this wire crystal tree sculpture I went through the process of visualising the tree before even starting the assembly. In the post I will briefly go though the process of how it was made, but first the stats of the tree.
Height- 260mm/ 10″ tall
Wire- Silver coated copper wire, 0.315mm diameter. Approximately 190 meters of wire used.
Lilac Beads- 700 beads, 8mm diameter.
Base- Real driftwood
Step 1- Get together the beads and wire. I use around 70cm for each strand and 3 beads per strand. Measure out the wire before you start and place the beads in a bowl so they don’t get lost everywhere!
Step 2- Thread the beads on to the wire making a leaf type pattern. There are a wide range of patterns you can choose, this tree was made with beads in batches of 3 and then three branches added together to make a cluster of three, so 27 beads in each cluster.
Step 3- Once you have your clusters it’s time to make some bigger branches, this is done by taking clusters and adding them together again. As you can see in batches of 3 again.
Step 4- Once you have made all your branches, you should have around 15 to 20 branches depending on how you decided on the tree design, these then need to be twisted together again and to slowly form the tree shape. Take some time looking at pictures of trees and their branching structures on the internet or in books to know how they branches out. Once you have it assembled I like to squeeze all the branches together like in the picture below to make the next step easier
Step 5- Twisting the roots is a time consuming process and is hard to explain. Basically you are taking all the wires from the bottom of the tree and dividing them into batches. I tend to shoot for around 8 initial batches and then sub divide them down in half over and over again until I get to the thinness of root I desire. There are other ways to making roots that look more natural, again research on how roots spread will assist in getting the right look. Roots are rarely straight so now in the time to make them more informal.
Step 6- Once you have your roots made you can then go ahead and start fanning out your branches to compose the tree. I initially just spread them out and try to get the tree balanced compositionally.
Step 7- Mount your tree onto the base you have chosen, the tree I made here is glued to the base for stability.
Step 8- Now I do a final styling on the tree, this means tweaking the branches so they are not straight, adding any informal look I want to the trunk, adjusting the leaf clusters so they look natural and make sure the tree looks it’s best.
The final tree in all it’s glory! It turned out exactly how I expected and am very happy with the result.
This crystal wire tree sculpture uses around 800 beads of various green colours and has 160 wires in the tree itself. This one took quite a long time to make, as 5 beads per wire is time consuming. The beads are glass and are faceted but also slightly rounded which made using them easier! I wanted to have natural looking roots and they sit on the driftwood base nicely. I am really happy with how it turned out. This will be listed on the website at some point but if you are interested, please contact me.
This wire tree is made with 4 colours of wire, silver, rose gold, dark purple and grape purple and the wire is 0.315mm thick. There is a dramatic twist in the trunk showing off the different coloured wires and styled as a informal upright this wire tree sits in a white rectangular Walsall studio ceramics container and has a moss effect on the base. You can see there are some exposed roots to complete the sculpture.
I find myself wondering why I don’t just “crank out” a load of wire tree sculptures and make money doing it, today I learned why.
Another talented wire tree artist has run a kickstarter campaign and within this he offered 30 low level trees for x amount of £, amount many other higher offerings. Everyone looked identical and at this point I must admit I was quite jealous. He exceeded his campaign and I am very happy for him.
This brought me to a question, can I make clone trees, can I make two identitcal trees? No, the answer is no! Even when I am producuing identical 2 trees they end up different, and I am not 100% why.
To clarify this was a twist for twist production line style creation of the two trees, I started as always with a batch of wire which I spun into a nice and simple root cluster. From there I created the trunks and stared splitting off the branches. Now even with a ruler it is impossible to make the splits the same and so the differences would eventually emerge. Once at the top of the tree I would then work back down making the foliage clumps.
There are a few factors at play here with regard to why I cannot make them the same, one of which is I use far significantly thinner wire than our example artist. My style seems to be the opposite to other wire tree artist, as is the way I do it (as above) and my foliage style (which is original as far as I am aware?!) The other may be my subconscious knowing that every tree in nature is unique, and even the same species will grow differently every time. Uniqueness.
I even intended our example to be identical, so where does that leave me? Well I am happy creating one of a kind wire tree sculptures and that is all that matters. I don’t feel the need to pursue a crowd funding campaign, and our example artist may have £25+k in the bank I am sure the creativity will slowly drain from the artist. I may be wrong but it is simply something that won’t work for me. This is not to say I don’t wish I could achieve that style of promotion myself but with the variety of the wire trees I create I couldnt produce as such a realiable result.
Anyway, below is a picture of my two “clones”, bad arnt they! Enjoy!
So this first quarter of the year I have been experimenting with crystal beads on wire trees as the foliage instead of my normal style. After being making trees for a year, and cranking out about 200 in 2016, I decided I would switch it up a little. I have made a decent amount of crystal trees and feel they look great, if a bit different to my normal.
Why do it, why not! I have evolved very quickly with my original style and re-setting back to not knowing what to do it good for the mind, if a bit frustrating at times! The crystal trees have to be built in the opposite way to my normal all wire trees. Typically the all wires trees will be built from the root up to the branches and foliage, if applicable, whereas I cannot do this with the crystals and have to build it from foliage down to the root. (which I believe is the common way to make wire trees anyway!) This presented a couple of problems for me but with the creation of a custom tool I have got over them.
I have worked with variety of crystal sizes to get a feel for them, from 3mm faceted glass, 5mm, 6mm and 8mm which is on the dark green tree. Those 8mm beads, when you have 800 of them on a huge chunk of driftwood can make for one heavy sculpture! Currently the wire I am using, 0.315mm anodised copper seems strong enough to hold the weight but as I make larger trees I feel I with either need more wire per tree or a slightly thicker gauge. I am not too keen on thicker wires because last year I hurt my hand using a 0.6mm silver wire which has left me with a clicking tendon in my left hand! However the glass faceted beads have been hard going on my fingers but they have toughened up quickly!
Enough chat, time for some images! But if you have any feedback, I would love to hear it! Thanks.
So a new year and the beginning of experiments in the form of glass faceted bead trees!
It occurrd to me to give this a try after spending the whole of 2016 making wire only trees. Immediately I noticed a few things, the creation process is opposite to how I make wire only trees; wire only I go root to tip vs beads are tip/ bead to root. This caused a few issues but a new custom tool has helped the process. Also the glass beads are pretty tough on the fingers and I am only now building up calluses to help with this problem.
I think I will keep playing with this style of tree for the meantime but will certainly make some of my original style also, even just to give my fingers a rest!
Do you like these trees? I’d love to get your thoughts.