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Sculpting with Bamboo

Articles: Sculpting with Bamboo

In Venice, California, a Glassman bamboo fence/gate/sculpture accented by Mexican weeping bamboo (Otatea acuminata subsp. aztecorum). Author’s photographs

Highlighting a recent garden tour in the Los Angeles area was an unscheduled stop at an eye-catching bamboo fence/sculpture. Edging the sidewalk in front of a house in the beachside community of Venice, the fence was constructed of three- to four-inch bamboo posts set upright in concrete, with long sweeps of smaller diameter bamboo, used individually and in bundles, forming a dramatic cross structure. The whole piece had a striking fluidity: it appeared precarious and yet solidly functional. Adding to its charm was the ingenious planting of Mexican weeping bamboo (Otatea acuminata subsp. aztecorum) that rises through and spills over it—the fine texture of the living bamboo contrasting beautifully with the larger culms of bamboo used in the construction.

The fence, we learned, was built by Stephen Glassman, a local artist who has been working with bamboo for many years. The beauty of Glassman’s work comes from his ability to use traditional bamboo joiner...

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