Art Scapes Extraordinaire
A Metal Tree Grows in Webster

 

Pat Bucey of Webster, New York may not have been the biggest customer Guyot Brothers ever had, but he’s sure a great friend -- and one very imaginative guy!

Several years ago, Mr. Bucey, a man of varied interests, inquired about the availability of metal leaves -- the type Guyot is noted for in the jewelry business. We responded with the specifics and thus an unusual relationship was born. Mr. Bucey began to order small amounts of the leaves on an erratic but continuing basis. Eventually, curiosity got the better of us and we just had to inquire as to what Mr. Bucey was up to. Needless to say, there was a bit of skepticism on our part when he responded that he was building a metal tree!

Originally, the tree was an avocation undertaken purely for his own satisfaction; something to while away the hours and help him relax. Eventually it became much more. From a technical standpoint, the now-complete tree is 9 feet tall and 7 feet in diameter. Mr. Bucey created his own jig setup to form over 2250 feet of brass twigs and branches onto which he fastened over 5000 leaves -- all purchased from Guyot.

Leaves were soldered onto the branches using a total of 80 ounces of silver solder. Each of the forty-four main tree branches are slipped into a collar and then double-secured with four set screws.

The trunk of the tree is 1/4" thick solid brass and tapers from the bottom to the top. All in all, the tree weighs a good 400 pounds and is now valued in excess of $100,000.

The completed tree is on display at the Rochester, NY regional airport. It is being used in an atmosphere where it can be appreciated for its beauty and detail, including the Guyot leaves that contribute to its handsome profile. He had suggested that perhaps it should be shown in a shopping mall, a gallery, or the lobby of a corporate building, so the airport is perfect! As for Guyot, we were sorry to lose a customer but delighted with the results of Pat Bucey’s efforts -- and with his friendship. And, who knows, there may be another tree planted by Bucey’s fertile imagination! Perhaps an oak, or maybe a bed of flowers instead.

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