The long and storied journey of NatureMaker began in the mountains of Idyllwild, California in 1983, when Bennett Abrams and Gary Hanick began experimenting with hardwood limbs and branches and other natural materials they found while exploring the forest.
Their earliest works, conceived as “sapling” trees, became recognized as objets d’art by major retailers such as Macy’s San Francisco and Marshall Fields in Chicago.
Later their artificial trees were discovered by architects and interior designers and are now found in museum exhibits, libraries, lobby designs, restaurant interiors, themed environments, residences and all sorts of interior landscapes.
In the late 1980s, Abrams and Hanick responded to the burgeoning casino designs of Las Vegas, by creating monumental interior trees for such high profile casinos as the Mirage and Buffalo Bills.
Abrams invented an entirely new super natural bark medium that, when applied wet to an engineered steel substructure, then hand-carved, hand-painted, and scenically aged, and allowed to cure, infused the sculpted tree with the subtlety and originality of fine art.
These early bark-over-steel trees became the catalyst for new applications, such as column clad and wall-mounted tree sculptures. Eventually these creative processes culminated into what Hanick and Abrams dubbed the “Steel Art Tree.”
As they addressed the primary concerns of architects and designers – structural integrity, sound engineering, adherence to applicable building codes, and fire safety issues – NatureMaker’s commissions grew more diverse, and the company and its founders attained a high level recognition.
Always expanding the boundaries of arboreal arts and technology, NatureMaker has evolved as a significant contributor in the perception of “nature in design.”