Casson’s Pine

“Casson’s Pine”  2001-3  Commissioned by Mr. J.H. Phillips for his Muskoka home.

During the end days of March 2000 Toronto businessman John Phillips contacted me regarding his desire to commission the creation of a bronze sculpture similar to the central tree in A.J. Casson’s 1957 painting entitled “White Pine”. The technical and aesthetic aspects of the project facisanated me. I had never made a tree and now I must create something that felt light and full of air, yet was strong to the touch. There necessity of creating a realistic feeling for a 360° object that at the same time has a set silhouette for its “head-on” view. The base needed to be invented for as you can see by the image of the painting below the base of the pine tree is blocked by a stone ledge.

The thumbnail of the painting that I copied from the McMichael Canadian Art Collection actually cause me a fair amount of grief and suffering in my production of this 227cm x 132 cm x 77 cm, bronze casting of my original wax and paper model.

Discussing the project with the foundry it became obvious that to create this sculpture I would have to go beyond the normal methods for the creation of a bronze sculpture. Due to the impossibility of making sufficient molds for the branches I would create a really unique bronze as I would cast my original model.

The problem was its crown.

I unfortunately misinterperted the structure of the supporting branches of the tree’s crown. Hence I needed to rebuild the original wax model.

This is cast bronze almost completely assembled. It was amazing how strong the final sculpture was. I created a spirial efffect as most branches were connected to another in a spirail motion moving up the trunk.

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