Papercraft tree WIP / by kelly heaton

I continue to work on my latest Electrolier sculpture. For this part --an arboreal vignette (and habitat for electric creatures of the Virginian night)-- I designed a sculptural tree in Blender that I unwrapped, print, cut, and folded to make branches out of relatively thin paper. I used this first collection of paper branches to build an underlying structure for my sculpture, like a naked tree. I stabilized it with wood glue and expandable foam. At the moment I am applying a bark layer which I laser cut out of cardboard using the same sequence of branch patterns. Because I am layering identical patterns, and because the real world is imperfect, the bark does not wrap around the circumference of the underlying tree exactly. I fill occasional gaps in the bark by hand, which gives an organic feeling to the machine aesthetic.

Whoever believes that technology makes production easier or faster has not witnessed my painstaking practice to balance artist and computer, nature and machine. For more information on process, please refer to my earlier blog entry:

Below are several images of my process thus far. Note that this is the first of two interlocking branches.