Did you ever blow on dandelions as a child? The sight of their fluffy seeds floating in the air is one of life’s simple pleasures and has inspired Japanese artist
Weeds such as dandelions are often considered undesirable in a garden, but Suzuki hopes his sculptures will encourage people to appreciate the “plants on the roadside.” To begin, the artist walks around his neighborhood in search of the weeds in yards or sidewalk cracks. He then heads back to his studio to begin recreating the delicate botanicals in metal. Suzuki captures their underrated beauty by sculpting their stems, flowers, buds, and even their tiny seeds from brass, copper, and silver.
Suzuki begins each piece by cutting out the shapes from a metal plate before using a hammer and a chisel to add realistic texture. His metal leaves feature thin veins, and petals appear to delicately curl up at the ends. Even the tiny seeds look as though they could float away. Depending on the sculpture’s final design, more than a hundred individual metal parts are brazed and assembled.
Suzuki colors his sculptures using chemical processes such as rusting, sulfurization, and oxidation. He also creates patinas that are traditional in Japan, such as tanpan coloring and niiro, which traditionally uses daikon juices to alter the metal. The results create elements that look just like their real counterparts. Each tarnished and textured leaf and stem features a rich array of natural hues, as well as subtle golden accents.
Suzuki doesn’t only create dandelion sculptures; he produces all kinds of botanicals in metal. “I am more interested in the state of plants that change and live every day in nature than in the appearance of plants themselves,” he tells My Modern Met. “Flowers bloom, and from full bloom, they quickly bud, leaf, color, and wither. When the wind blows, the stems sway and dance, and petals and dead leaves dance in the air like circuses.” The artist adds, “The ever-changing appearance of nature is not the same as an instant, it’s very beautiful, therefore I am impressed with the mysteries of life.”
Check out Suzuki’s striking flower sculptures below and find more of his work on his
Artist Shota Suzuki captures the underrated beauty of dandelions with his incredible metal sculptures.
Each individual element is cut from bass, copper, or silver.
Suzuki colors his sculptures using chemical processes such as rusting, sulfurization, and oxidation.
The artist hopes his life-like sculptures will encourage people to appreciate “plants on the roadside.”