An Italian Cathedral Made From Trees

A living place of worship, Italy’s Cattedrale Vegetale (or Tree Cathedral) is built entirely from natural materials. Artist Giuliano Mauri began the towering project in 2001, creating 42 columns that arc towards each other to form a leafy basilica and five grand aisles. To complete the piece, Mauri used 1,800 fir poles, 600 chestnut branches, and 6,000 meters of hazel branches that were joined together with nails and string. Hornbeam trees were planted inside each column and will eventually overtake the structure. Just before completion Mauri passed away in 2009, leaving his cathedral as a growing memorial and a quiet place of reflection for visitors.

A Meditation on Balance: New Stone Work from Michael Grab

It takes a love of nature, a lot of patience, and very steady hands to create work like Michael Grab’s balanced stones. The Boulder Colorado-based artist (covered previously) spends long meditative hours in the woods, finding stones large and small, and placing them at seemingly impossible rest atop their pointed end. Captured in exceptional photographs, his work contains that rare and poetic balance between stillness and motion.

Think You’ve Seen Basket Weaving? This Russian Sculpture is 72-Feet-Tall

Nikolay Polissky woven sculpture Beaubourg 1

Russian artist Nikolay Polissky recently completed a huge 72-foot-tall woven sculpture he’s calling Beaubourg. The beautifully sinuous piece looks a bit like Dr. Seuss took a course in weaving and never looked back. The 12 saxophone-esq sections are made from birch twigs and supported by an internal steel structure that conceals a spiraling staircase in the center. Even with the metal supporting elements, it’s striking to see such a lightweight structure of this size.

Decorating Nature: An Alternate, Painterly World

fig. 56- not normally associated with seasonal transformations, some stream-side stones actually will begin to pixellate in late autumn:early winter

People often talk about nature ‘decorating’ itself as the seasons change: leaves change colors in the fall, the world turns white in the winter, and things green back up in the spring. But what if nature actually did decorate itself in an artistic fashion? Artist Norm Magnusson has been experimenting with that idea, painting objects he finds in the natural world and through that creating something highly imaginative and fantastic.

Leaves of Lace Using Classic Techniques

We all know that most paper comes from trees… but what if the tree itself acted as the paper? Spanish artist Lorenzo Duran uses leaves as his canvas to make intricate cut patterns using methods from classic Japanese, Chinese and German styles. His technique took a while to develop (many leaves didn’t survive) but finally Lorenzo hit upon a process of washing, drying, molding and cutting that worked. You can view and purchase his lace like designs at