Organic Sculpture: The Runner (1 of 4)

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Project by NicoJose posted 04-24-2011 02:37 PM 2585 views 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The Runner
Dimensions: 5.5’ x 3.5’ x 7.5’

I uploaded my project “The Observer” before while asking the question if you guys considered my sculpture as woodworking. A lot of people agreed its woodworking (in the purest form) and some even requested I upload photos of the other sculptures. As promised here’s “The Runner”, one of the first sculptures prior to The Observer”

This is 1 of 4 sculptures that was part of my thesis for Environmental Studies in college about making art in a sustainable manner. The actual artwork is for my senior project for my other major, Studio Art Sculpture.

I did NOT use any glue, rope, metal fasteners or any power tools… I just wove thousands of bendable materials (muscle groups) over least or non bendable materials (the skeleton) while balancing everything as a solid a piece

Tools used:
• Machete
• Handsaw
• Tie Downs
• Ax
• Rubber Mallet

List of material (collected and made while camping in the compost dumpsite of Lewis & Clark College):
• Apple prunings
• Douglas fir branches
• Pacific Madrone
• Blue Cypress
• Oregon Maple
• Grape Vines
• Sequoia Branches
• Spruce Root
• Red Alder
• Paper Birch

Will post more in the future. Enjoy guys.

-- Nico Jose; Designer/Maker &Artist

14 comments so far

View Stephen Mines's profile

Stephen Mines

225 posts in 1780 days

#1 posted 04-24-2011 03:36 PM

Truly neat stuff…you can wander my woodlot and wetlands any time…I have a feeling that if you changed anything it would be a great plus. Sustainable? Guess you’d never run short of materials. And if one of the pieces happened to be rooted it’s even be ‘slow’ kinetic. If any of your work has sprouted some green I’d love to see example(s). Thanks for posting!


-- Stephen Mines (

View JPierce's profile


8 posts in 1694 days

#2 posted 04-24-2011 04:31 PM

I’m fascinated by your sculptures.Great work.
Very reminiscent of a work I saw a few years ago by Jim Cameron.

View B13's profile


463 posts in 1783 days

#3 posted 04-24-2011 04:42 PM

Very wicker men.

View B13's profile


463 posts in 1783 days

#4 posted 04-24-2011 04:44 PM

Very cool! wicker men

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 2168 days

#5 posted 04-24-2011 04:54 PM

It’s fascinating to look at your figure a section at a time. It made me wonder how Bald Eagles just knew how to weave those branches so the whole thing would stay together as a nest. I like it when it’s on display at a campus or studio, but if I ran into it hiking in the woods, I may have a different reaction, especially if I had a gun!!! LOL!

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View redryder's profile


2340 posts in 2191 days

#6 posted 04-25-2011 12:39 AM

Your out there my friend. I like it…....

-- mike...............

View rusticandy's profile


109 posts in 2619 days

#7 posted 04-25-2011 03:06 AM

Nicely done-

-- rustic andy

View woodzy's profile


416 posts in 1768 days

#8 posted 04-25-2011 06:18 AM

Great work. Your pieces are amazing to look at i would really like to see something like this in person.

Thanks for sharing and keep them coming.

-- Anthony

View learnin2do's profile


878 posts in 1941 days

#9 posted 04-25-2011 07:30 AM

-of course it is! it is working with wood!
-i love the technique! it sounds very peaceful, maybe sometimes frustrating, but mostly peaceful!

-- christine

View EPJartisan's profile


1113 posts in 2215 days

#10 posted 04-25-2011 05:46 PM

Yes, these are great and inspiring. I am getting ready for our annual city folk migration to the northern woods (spirit camp, we call it, to renew the spirit) and every year we do something really creative together. Last year we did 30 second exposure light pictures and decorated the fire pit with slabs, rocks, and stones. I think this year we will make a figure like yours. if that is okay to imitate you. Go any tips? and have you seen the movie “the Wicker Man”?

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View HallTree's profile


5662 posts in 2857 days

#11 posted 04-26-2011 12:16 AM

I bet you have to get out in the woods early in the day to gather your wood before others get it for firewood.
When I set around the campfire at our Summer place, I will look at it a little different.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View NicoJose's profile


94 posts in 1711 days

#12 posted 04-26-2011 02:59 PM

Thank you everyone for the all comments!
And don’t forget to take photos!

@EPJartisan: Yes, I’ve seen “Wicker Man”! For tips, collect branches that have interesting shapes. The more branches and twigs you collect, the more options you’ll have. Roots are great too. Look at line gesture drawings. Do 30sec sketches, then think of branches that you collected that have similar shapes to the lines that you drew. The fastest way to make one is using wires, dowels, or creat joints. Screws will NOT hold well. For other techniques, Look up Patrick Dougherty, Deborah Butterfield and Trevor Leat.

-- Nico Jose; Designer/Maker &Artist

View treefrogdog's profile


29 posts in 1695 days

#13 posted 07-19-2011 06:05 AM

Astounding! Truly..I am blown away. Love it. Thanks for sharing your gift…:)

-- Josh, Mesa Arizona

View RGtools's profile


3343 posts in 1744 days

#14 posted 07-29-2011 04:25 AM

These are so cool. Every time I see them I think there should be one on every remote trail…or at least a few special ones.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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