How did it come about?
I was fiddling with a muselet while sitting at the dining table during a new years day family meal. Now a muselet is that wire cage that holds the cork on a pressured bottle, you tend to find them on champagne bottles (I had to google the name myself!). Hopefully you can visualize the kind of wire I am writing about. The muselet is normally considered rubbish and gets thrown away. However, that day it ended up in my hands – and I am glad that it did. I don’t know why but I sat there and, without really thinking about it, I tried to make a tree out of it. I made a little Metal Bonsai – I even used the bottle cap as a pot for the tree.
This meal sparked the idea of making bigger trees from better wire and Metal Bonsai was born. From that day on I’ve been hooked on making wire tree sculptures and perfecting my technique. I didn’t know my hobby would lead to the creation of my small family business.
I wish I had kept this very first ‘tree’; unfortunately it got cleaned away after the family new years dinner!
How do you actually make the trees?
Regardless of the metal used all of my trees are made from cut lengths of wire. In a single project over 150 meters of wire is often be used. The strands are twisted into the shape and then I create the foliage. The final step is when I put the tree in a pot, on a decorative base or plinth. They are fixed into Mame bonsai pots with soil and moss effects added. I have created a few educational blog posts you can read more on the process. If you fancied following my metal bonsai process to make a basic tree I have made the information freely available.
I have only recently come truly appreciate the beauty and strength of trees. Moving into a small village has helped with this. Once awakened to the beauty of trees I realized they are everywhere, gentle giants which we share the planet with. Having never been very good at keeping real bonsai alive I choose to honor trees with wire sculpture instead.
My first tree was, whats the kind way to say it, original?! Without even considering the biology of trees I first had to figure out how to bend wire. Now that may sound simple until you try it! Below is my very first tree, it took around 4 hours to make and sat in a soy sauce dish. A tree made of copper is next to it. It took over 20 hours to make and is a beautiful green mame bonsai pot. Needless to say there was a vast improvement!
I aspire to create such art to the highest standard, such as the works of Clive Maddison, Alrik Greenland and Ken To. I will keep creating trees and developing my own personal style and expression. Find Metal Bonsai stock in my online store.
And Your Name?
Oh I forgot to introduce myself, my name is Matthew Gollop, I am 32 at the time of writing this, I am married to my soul mate Amee and we have a french bulldog called Chester. I reside in Norfolk, England which is a beautiful tree filled landscape. You can follow me on Instagram here.