Vine Ascending Sculpture by Larry Schuster

Vine Ascending

“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.”

Modern art sculpture: Grapevine, stone, stainless steel and brass · 28″ H x 16″ W x 8″ 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.”

“As with Windswept Vine, I started with the marble base which has an incredible natural veining in the stone. I chose a grape vine that had an interesting shape and seemed to complement the base. Stainless steel vines grow around the natural vine. These sculptural pieces of stainless steel are made to precisely join together to make one long continuous piece. They can also be taken apart, if necessary. The leaves are hand cut from thin sheets of bronze. Grooves were cut in each leaf and filled with silver solder. The leaves were heat treated to bring out the different colors of the metals. Then the leaves were coated with clear lacquer to maintain the patinas that were created by the heat treatments.”