Branching Out

written by:
photos by:
February 26, 2009
Originally published in The Craft of Design

Arborsculpturist Richard Reames has spent the past 16 years making more than 100 sculptures, chairs, pieces of furniture, tool handles, mailboxes, and fences out of living trees.

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  In 1947, a kooky Swede by the name of Axel Erlandson opened an arborsculpture amusement park called the “Tree Circus” in the Santa Cruz mountains.
    In 1947, a kooky Swede by the name of Axel Erlandson opened an arborsculpture amusement park called the “Tree Circus” in the Santa Cruz mountains.
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  Richard Reames, next to one of his custom creations.
    Richard Reames, next to one of his custom creations.
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  The outstretched arms of a pear tree cradle an old window frame.
    The outstretched arms of a pear tree cradle an old window frame.
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  The stages of the Fab Tree Hab are shown.
    The stages of the Fab Tree Hab are shown.
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  Two branches of a 20-foot-tall poplar spiral around one another.
    Two branches of a 20-foot-tall poplar spiral around one another.
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  After being held in position for a few years, this ash tree will cast a new shape.
    After being held in position for a few years, this ash tree will cast a new shape.
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