Trees come in all shapes and sizes, and provide an endless source inspiration. The windswept trees of Connemara are a favourite of Liam Butler’s, and he enjoys experimenting with their varied shapes, twists and sparse branches. Long walks along the coast, woodlands and bog near the family home feed Liam’s curiosity and fascination with the natural world and he continues to experiment with new ways to portray the wildlife he observes. Liam’s bog oak pieces reflect his imagination, as he examines each piece of wood to see what forms present themselves. The beautiful curves and shapes of the oak can be enhanced with copper detail, or become a perfect perch for a bird or figure.
The natural forms of trees are represented through the sculpting process as it mimics the stages of natural growth. Trees are created from the bottom up through a process of heating, hammering, and welding recycled copper pipes to reach the desired shape. The trunk is created first, with twists, knots and hollows added to depict a rough woody texture. Larger branches are added next, followed by smaller branches and finally the leaves, buds or flowers. Trees provide a scene for storytelling in many pieces, with songbirds congregating, children playing, and robins resting in the shade. Larger trees make striking garden sculptures, blending beautifully with the natural environments that inspired them.
This Portfolio features past work from the Butler family. If you are interested in any of these works please get in touch to discuss commissioning a similar piece.