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How long does it take to make a wire tree sculpture

Crystal Wire Tree Sculpture Purple and Silver

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.

Deciduous, without leaves.
Colourful wire bonsai sculpture in yellow pot
My 3d leaf 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.

Small tree
Larger tree.











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.

Small Green Glass Bead Wire Tree Sculpture in Blue Pot by Metal Bonsai MG244-3
Small bead tree- 300 4mm beads.
Large bead trees- 800 beads each. (and my ugly mug!)











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.