Windswept Vine Sculpture by Larry Schuster

Windswept Vine

“The Central Coast of California, near my home, is the center of flourishing wine making. After decades, the old vines no longer produce and are found abandoned by the side of the highway. I found these old, gnarled, grapevine pieces intriguing. In working with these natural forms, I created metal sculptural elements that both added to and contrasted to nature’s work, as well as a motion of the wind, in a static piece.”

Contemporary sculpture: Grapevine, stone, stainless steel and brass · 36″ H x 30″ W x 15″ D

“As I was driving out in wine country one day, I was intrigued by all of the abandoned, ancient grape vines that were stacked by the side of the road. I loaded some of the vines in the back of my truck and decided to see if they had any potential for a sculpture. My thought was to create works that had an interplay with actual earthly creations, a real piece of nature, and man-made creativity.”

“The wood of the vine boughs was beautiful, but they needed a lot of work. The bark had to be removed, sections of each vine were crumbly and decayed and had to be drilled and routed out. I choose a number of interesting vines for my sculptures, cleaned and prepared them, then stained the wood with a dark red wine colored stain and added many layers of wax.”

“I started with the base of red California Marble. I liked the terrace effect of the stone. The stone base suggested to me my choice of the grape vine bough. Vines of stainless steel twist about the natural vine. The leaves are hand cut from sheets of thin bronze.

“My thought was to try to create motion without anything actually moving. I used the leaf that is almost falling is to suggest a sense of motion, freezing a moment in time. When the leaf is subjected to a strong wind, what it would look like? Also the way the leaves are bent, as if the wind is blowing them all in the same direction.”