Zero At The Bone

 The first week of January for me is all about a certain dormancy that comes with the finality of season coming to a close. If you are old enough to have fallen asleep in front of a tv, and woken up the static that came after the day’s programming was over, you get the idea.  My pause button is engaged.  I am still putting the last of the holiday half and half in my coffee, and dreaming.  That phase will come to an abrupt end, the first of next week.

Next week, Rob, Steve and I will be scouting and shopping in the US for what we need to add to the spring of 2012 in the shop.  The end of January we will clean and repaint as usual.  This year I have a hardscape installation scheduled for the same time. 

The Branch studio is in the middle of a fabrication project for a client in Fort Worth. 

 Another local client’s iron work is scheduled to be ready for installation in two weeks.  We will have steel garden ornament from Branch at the shop this spring very different than anything we have done before.



 Rob will be on his way to Italy towards the end of January, until mid-February. 

 A pair of containers are scheduled to arrive from France in mid February.  Are my winters sleepy, like my garden?  Not especially. 


The garden is quiet over the winter.  This means there is as much time to drift over ideas, as there is time to concentrate.  As much as I dislike the winter, I could not do without it.      


To the best of my knowledge, Roland Tiangco, a graphic designer about whom I know little except that he lives in Brooklyn, created this interactive poster in 2009.  I never feel so much at home as I do with my hands in the dirt.  I look at this work of his from time to time-regularly.  This work of his is extraordinary.  Every time I see it, I feel that zero at the bone.  Zero at the bone?  Shockingly good. As in the bouquet of butterfly weed seed pods Rob assembled pictured above.  Shockingly provocative.  If you missed it, take a look.

A much different zero at the bone event?  The house Richard Meier designed and built for Howard Rachofsky. I live in a 1930’s Arts and Crafts house of which I am quite fond.  But this house challenges my eye in every way.  Love the landscape-a lawn interrupted by what looks like corten steel.  The photographs by B. Tse are great:

Such is the winter work.  Providing for a spring that is zero at the bone.







  1. Thank you for sharing!! I enjoy hearing about your schedule…as much as I also dislike the winter, I would not appreciate the spring as much without it.

  2. You stay very busy and and beyond my imagination productive. I live near Ft Worth. Hope the installation will be one that will eventually be on a Conservancy Tour. Look forward to seeing pictures after it is installed if possible.

  3. Buck from Branch says

    The big steel bowl is in the process of becoming a fountain, and will head to Texas around the middle of February. It is scheduled to be installed at a development out near the Dallas Ft. Worth airport. When I have details, I will let you know.

  4. Great–if the development is open to the public I will definitely get by and see it.

  5. I have been following your blog lately and I really admire you work. Where did you ever find those spiral evergreens? I never knew they were grown like that on farms. I assumed they were sheared on the job site. When will your new pots arrive?

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Andrew, sheared evergreens have to be grown, and sheared slowly over time. Our containers from France should arrive mid February or so. Deborah

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