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Entries in cherry tree (2)

Wednesday
Aug012018

In My Garden: Cherries!

Above: Minnie Royal cherry tree

Many people don't believe me when I say I have productive cherry trees in my yard. Their response is always "Cherry trees only grow in cold climates, not on the coast in Southern California." But the fact is we have two very good varieties of delicious dark red cherries with a very low chill requirement (hours per year under 45 degrees). They are the Minnie Royal and the Royal Lee. These two varieties should be planted close together, as they pollinate each other.

When the cherries start to darken I put up bird netting with 3/4" hole spacing, or smaller, to keep the birds away. This size spacing also prevents the birds from getting caught in the netting, as can happen with larger spaced netting. I tie the netting around the trunk of the tree so no one gets in from underneath and possibly trapped inside the net. I leave several overlapping folds in the netting so I can reach in to pick fruit without having to untie the net every time. 

I also want to say that I have several fruit trees on my property from which the birds can eat the fruit to their hearts content. Maybe when my cherry trees mature and I am harvesting lots of cherries I will share with the birds who nest and live in my yard. But my trees are still young and while I got a significant amount of cherries this year, the nets stay on and the cherries are off limits to the birds until I the trees are producing enough to share. 

Above: Minnie Royal cherry tree, 2014

Above:  Four years later, 2018, the same Minnie Royal cherry tree as in above photo. Unfortunately, I had picked all the cherries off before taking the photo. 

Above: Ripe cherries!

Tuesday
Oct062015

Snow Cranes and Cherry Blossoms!

The home in Anaheim Hills, CA, with its linear single-level architecture and Asian accents, sits on a couple of acres of beautifully landscaped property. The couple travel extensively and bring back art from around the world, including many large antique Oriental paintings and sculpture, giving the home a peaceful Asian feel. 

Thus was my inspiration for their front entryway. I chose solid black walnut as the main wood for the doors and decided to use it in the windows as well, to help create a natural flow. It is a beautiful wood and one of my favorite woods to carve. 

My style of carving is to remove the background so that the design stands out - my carvings are not applied, they are a part of the wood. So that the snow cranes and cherry tree are carved right into the wood, and not glued on. In this case the cherry tree continues into the glass panels.

The glass panels are made of carved fused glass. I first deeply carve 1/2" thick glass, then fill those carvings with finely ground colored glass. I then place the glass panels on moulds that I have textured and fire the glass in my kiln, fusing the colored glass into the carved recesses and creating texture in the glass for both design and privacy. This technique allows me to integrate the carved wood and glass into one art piece. 

Again, this is one of my favorite styles - combining architecture with nature. More pictures below.

Above: View from the inside. You can see how subtle the texture in the glass is. It softens the light and adds privacy but doesn't interfere with the artistic design of the cherry tree branches and blossoms.