of trees after thousands of welds.
Sculptor Don De Mott says that a 1979 foray into the vast aspen groves and conifer forest of southwestern Colorado changed his life forever. Like many others, this majestic Colorado experience resulted in his decision to make the state his home. “I was a big John Denver fan,” says De Mott, “That drive through Colorado was like something straight out of “Rocky Mountain High.”
The stone base sets the tone and composition of the sculpture. De Mott spends hours digging through mounds of rocks to select just the right piece of alabaster to begin each piece. Back in the studio, he begins the painstaking process of shaping and welding steel rods into lifelike trees. The aspens tend to be smooth with fewer branches. The pines are heavily textured, using heat. Up to two thousand welds are used to create all of the branches necessary. Every tree is unique, never quite matching in size or shape.
The sculpted trunks are carefully painted with enamels. With painstaking attention to detail, each aspen trunk is dotted with the familiar “eyes” that appear to stare back at the viewer. Darker marks are added to reflect where scars have formed, which may occur as the tree ages or when passing elk or moose scrape their antlers or bite the trunks.
Admirers of De Mott’s trees are fascinated by the colors. Fall foliage is a must-see in Colorado’s high country. Sadly, it is so fleeting in nature. De Mott uses organic materials to form both aspen leaves and pine needles, which are then colorized to represent autumn’s palette at its perfect peak. Light dances through the leaves of the crafted trees, much as it would in nature, with the colors varying as the light changes. These sculptures capture Colorado’s beautiful fall colors for year-round enjoyment. In the end, each De Mott Aspen Tree Sculpture is a one-of-a-kind original.