Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Amazing Trees

I am always awed by the beauty of trees.  I often hike at Big Trees State Park in the Sierra Nevada where there are two groves of giant sequoias.  When you stop to ponder that some of the bigger trees have been there, possibly for two to three thousand years, it really makes you feel quite insignificant.  It's a wonderful place to hike in early Spring or late Fall before it gets hot and busy.  Most of the Park cannot be accessed in Winter because the road is not maintained.   If you are interested, you can visit the Park website Here.

Last summer I learned about the wood prints of artist, Brian Nash Gill.  Below is a really great 3 minute video about his work with wood prints that I first found on Martha Stewart's website.  When I first watched this, something clicked and I knew I had to try this.  We have lots of wood on our property in the Sierra Nevada and this seemed like a great way to honor the trees that had fallen or that we have had to cut.  

Bryan Nash Gill - Woodcuts from Philip Leaman on Vimeo.

I love the process, every print is different even when you use the same piece of wood, ink and paper.  It takes a lot of elbow grease to create the print, you have to rub harder than you think to get a good impression, too much ink and you lose the detail, not enough and your print is pale and patchy.  The bark presents it's own challenges too.  My husband helps with prepping the logs for printing and does all the heavy lifting!  I have some of my original prints in my Etsy shop in the section Log Slice Prints.  

Recently I saw a Facebook post about the work of Bartholomaus Traubeck, using tree slices to create music.  Using technology I don't really understand, a camera "reads" the appearance of the wood, the rings and color and translates that to haunting piano music.  Each species of tree has a different "sound".  It's pretty amazing.  

Take a look at the video, it's only a couple of minutes long.  I think it sounds like rain falling.

YEARS from Bartholomäus Traubeck on Vimeo.

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