The Green Man at the Elm

The Green Man at the Elm

A much-loved elm tree had died in a private garden in East Yorkshire, and the customer wanted something to celebrate the beauty and splendour the tree used to have; the first discussions centered around a flowing elm leaf design winding up the tree stump:

The initial sketches

These designs didn’t really work for me, I liked the movement of the swirling leaves, but there was no focal point ~ it just seemed a bit boring. I put the idea of a Green Man to the clients, who were in full agreement, and did some more sketches.

The image of the Green Man with closed eyes, as if asleep or at peace appealed, and it had a bit of a meditative quality and seemed to suit the character of the tree.


Starting with the nose and working back. A lot of wood to chop away even to get to this stage.
Once the features were established it was just a case of positioning the leaves.
Working my way up the tree with the leaves. I used a template for the leaves so they’d have a uniform size, bringing the whole design together.
All oiled and finished, the elm had a lovely rich colour.