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The Giant Fern, Owl Bench, and Balance Beams
@ Stark Park
Sponsored by Manchester Moves, The Giant Fern, Owl Bench, and Winding Balance Beams at Molly Stark's Wildwoods (behind Stark Park in Manchester, NH, along the Heritage Trail) were designed and built by Laurel Hill Studio to give park visitors a place to relax, play, appreciate art, and enjoy time spent outdoors.
The large pine log bench and the giant fern were both cut and carved from the same pine tree that fell a few years prior just a few feet away from where the bench now sits. The bench was hoisted with staging and a chain hoist and placed on pine footings, while the giant fern was first cut into a slab and base and slowly stood up with ropes and winches. Both pieces were carved with a chainsaw and refined with power tools and chisels and also burnt with a torch to add contrast and depth to detail. The process of carving the fern details is repetitious and meditative, although muscle strain and fatigue tends to interrupt the flow state! These natural fern patterns are simple yet potent in their ability to draw the eye in, and the endearing pair of wise owls provide quiet company for those who sit with them and observe the world from their perspective. They're also a hoot to hang out with so if you're not there right now, you should visit soon! (The bench and fern are down in the woodland area to the right of the Stark Farm Community Garden).
Stay curious, and don't forget to visit with the #HeritageTroll just a quick walk down the trail!
Blocking out the Owl Bench
Testing the Winding Balance Beams
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