As there was a really nice response to the first of these trees (...and thank you everyone who commented! ) I thought I would do a much more 'in depth' thread looking at the making process. Out of necessity, there are going to be lots of photos of the processes involved, and I completely understand that this may bore some, so if you just want to see the finished tree, I suggest you scroll straight to the end. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the ride!
This tree will be bigger than the last, using 192 x 60cm brown wires for the trunk and branches and 100 x 60cm and 92 x 50cm green wires for the leaves.
Here I have 120m of brown wire and 110m of green wire at 0.8mm dia.
Also required is something for the base...here I used a 250mm blue glazed pot saucer and an interesting piece of rock that I found in the garden.
The easiest way I found to cut the wires to length was to wind it round a simple jig made of nails on a 60cm circumference circle.
Then simply cut and all the lengths are the same.
192 x 60cm.
These are then threaded through a disc with around 200 x 1mm holes drilled in concentric circles to hold the wires steady while twisting. The short section will become the roots.
As before, the wire is now twisted to form the trunk, and sections are split out and twisted separately to form the branches. These are then split further and further towards the ends until you end up with just two ends to each branch.
Here's the tree without its leaves. You can see the pairs of wires at the ends of the branches where the leaves will be fitted.
The 'leaves' consist of 100 x 60cm wires for the bottom two branches and 92 slightly shorter wires at 50cm for the upper branches to give a graded look. The wires are wound round a 3mm dia. rod, in this case a modified crochet needle, but in order to speed the process up, I cut the hook off one end, cut a 1mm slot in the other end to trap the wire and put it in my drill, where it takes just seconds to wrap each length. You need a 25mm end to attach the leaf to the tree which can be seen at the LH end.
These are now rolled out with a piece of plastic pipe to elongate them.
The coils are lying on top of each other, so they are gently stretched out to lay flat. This also makes the tiny circles oval shaped like leaves.
To form a 'leaf cluster', the end is first bent round into a small circle with some jewellers round nosed pliers, then rolled up to form a concentric spiral.
These are then twisted onto the wires on the tree. This coloured aluminium wire is very soft and twists easily with your fingers. For clarity, I've used an unrolled wire to show this here.
The ends are clipped off neatly and the leaf arranged nicely on the branch.
Here's the first part of the bottom branch completed.
Once all the leaves have been attached, the drilled disc is removed from the bottom and similarly to the branches, the wires are split out and twisted to form the roots. These should be long enough to cover whatever base you are using.
I secured mine by twisting several 'roots' together under the rock, the rest were cut off just underneath. The whole lot was then glued to the dish using a strong building adhesive, and left to set.
To fill the rest of the dish, I used some horticultural grit, in this case crushed quartz.
In order to fix it, and stop it falling out of the dish, I mixed it with some 75:25 PVA glue to water until it was just nicely 'porridgy'.
This was then spooned in and around the dish and rock and gently firmed into a pleasing contour and again, left to set.
And so finally, here's the finished result. I'm pleased with the way it turned out, and if you've followed this thread all the way through, thank you for looking and I hope you enjoyed it. @Always"watching", Honour, I hope Kristina will like it!