Bonsai is a Japanese art form that involves pinching and pruning the branches of ornamental trees in order to prevent them from reaching their normal size. The practice dates back thousands of yearsand is traditionally seen as a meditative exercise and vehicle for contemplation. Manchester-based artist Andy Elliott says he experiences a similar therapeutic sensation when he creates his bonsai tree sculptures using strands of wire. Elliott first started making bonsai sculptures as a hobby and has slowly perfected the craft over time. Last year he started what turned out to be a successful Kickstarter campaign to help raise money for materials. He has since then undertook a second larger campaign, taking commissions and putting work up on his Etsy page.
Elliott is a prolific craftsman and has developed a significant following on his YouTube channel, where he posts videos on how to make things like an LED illusion mirror or a miniature grapple gun. His sculptures are based off a bonsai shape but also imagine a tree that is sliced in half so you can see the details of the branches inside. Each tree is a made from a number of strands of wire. Using jigs, pliers, and an array of other tools, Elliott twists the wire into tiny loops to create bunches of leaves. Elliott says some of his largest trees can use up hundreds of meters worth of wire and take up to a week to complete. Check out more of his sculptures below: