California artist Jayson Fann creates these spirit nests as part of the Big Sur Spirit Garden, an International Arts and Cultural Center in California’s Big Sur valley, between the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Each nest is big enough for at least one person, and they range in scale from love seat size all the way to a 20 person nest that is wider than a highway and has a second story inside it.
Each nest is made with tree branches from local forests, each limb carefully cut and chosen to ensure that the tree itself isn’t damaged in the process. Jayson most often uses the wood from Eucalyptus trees because it’s strongest and lasts longer than most others, cutting away their leaves with a machete and transporting the harvested wood to the new nest’s building site.
To begin building the nest, Jayson first separates the wood by size.
“The process consists of fitting the puzzle of branches into a flowing form that integrates structural integrity with artistic flow,” he said, “I use tension by bending the wood and counter sunk screws that are virtually invisible to ensure a strong structure.”
Each nest creates a delicate new relationship between human and nature, one that was lost long ago when we first went indoors to shield ourselves from the elements. In these nests, we’re granted a place among the elements instead of being pitted against them, connecting us for an instant to the all the beauty that’s out there in this miracle of a world.
That’s the perfect image these pictures create. The nests are set in elegant forests and waterfronts, with the sun shining and the sky glowing, and all of these ingredients are amplified in each tree branch that’s been harmoniously joined with its brother to create a pattern of protection.
Image source: Cuded
For more information, check out Big Sur Spirit Garden’s website.
When you’re a kid, a treehouse is the one place where grownups aren’t in charge. If you’re a girl it’s no boys allowed and vice versa. Only those deemed trustworthy are allowed up to the sacred space so that everyone can feel safe enough to discuss their hopes for the future – even if that only includes trying to get out of going to school tomorrow.
But treehouses become more than that when Kobayahsi Takashi makes them – a professional treehouse architect, he’s traveled around Japan and the world creating miniature spaces high up in the branches, brought to life by the fact that the very thing supporting them is alive. He writes, “…everywhere I’ve been, I’ve seen reflected in these largest and oldest of living beings the same nameless light that I’ve struggled to maintain within myself for so many years, the one that no one could tarnish and that never seemed to disappear. That comfort, that sense of calm, is something I’d like to share with as many people as possible. And it is with that in mind that I will continue with the one-of-a-kind rush that is treehouse creation, all the while carrying out my own personal dialogue with their hosts.”
Takashi is a member of the Tree People, both a company and organization that stands with trees and builds off them. Their website reads, “We who build these structures are not architects; our aim rather, through art and free expression, is to break down the feeling of separation that exists between humans and nature.”
I especially love this glass treehouse nestled in an Okinawa forest – just a little dome that transforms people into birds, letting them soar up high in the branches; plenty of windows for fresh air and with opening at the top towards the sky. This photograph was taken at just the right angle too – its obvious why they selected this tree as each side of its arms open wide, embracing and balancing the little glass dome held within.
See more Tree People treehouses in their online gallery.
Takashi also wrote a book called “Treedom” if you’re interested.