Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Jeremy Thomley creates 3-D art from discarded metal in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Thomley's version of The Whomping Willow
On a Christmas tree farm outside of Hattiesburg, Miss. there grows an amazing structure. Inspired by the Whomping Willow of Harry Potter fame, artist Jeremy Thomley is constructing a massive sculpture out of a century’s worth of discarded farm implements. His London-based clients bought a farm in Bunker Hill, Miss. and discovered piles of discarded metal on the property. Rather than have the pieces carted away as rubbish, the couple called on Thomley to create a replica of the fictional tree from the detritus.

One version of the Harry Potter tree stood at Scholastic Place in New York during the launch of the last novel calls children to enjoy the space. The sculpture Thomley builds in Hattiesburg provides a steam punk take on the tree.

Thomley explains his work in his studio on the family Christmas tree farm outside Hattiesburg, Miss. His climbable tree project is only one of the many metal sculptures he creates with steel and a blowtorch. 

A metal Mohawk to top the tree

An airy array of metal will top the tree like a Mohawk hairstyle. The girders will fit into grooves on the tree when final assembly is completed. A series of “sails” will dress the crow’s nest atop the structure. Like graceful sails or insect wings, the future branches of the tree rest around Thomley’s studio. When the tree reaches its final destination, the leaves will spread from the trunk in all directions.

Thomley demonstrated the climb-ability of the tree he is building from discarded equipment pieces. With the variety of shapes and sizes incorporated into the tree, the young man destined to own the tree will be able to climb from many directions. 

Thomley neared the crow's nest as he climbed the fantasy tree on the family farm. An avid climber, he has traveled the world seeking new climb sites. Now he is building one outside his sculpture studio, Mohawk Steel Company.
The lighter-colored channels at the top will hold the tree's Mohawk topping, and the remaining branches will attach around the trunk. A giant chain provides a means of descent from the top of the metal tree. Thomley has utilized parts of tractors and other farm implements to create the giant playground.
Originally appeared on 09/04/2013 at

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