Thursday Salute to Originals: Make a Wish

Ephemeral dandelion heads are immortalized in metal.

Through a painstaking process of metal sculpture and tarnish, Kyoto-based sculptor Shota Suzuki creates delicate dandelion heads from copper, brass, and silver.

The attention to detail in the sculptures is simply breathtaking  — but don’t breathe too hard, you might blow them away!

Suzuki builds each dandelion piece by piece, almost exclusively from memory from hours of hands-on research observing weeds growing through sidewalk cracks and along the side of the road. Each piece of the metalwork merges with scientific accuracy.

The most complex dimension of Suzuki’s process is in the tarnish of each metal component. Every color is achieved through careful alchemy, rooted in traditional Japanese patina methods.

For blue hues, Suzuki mixes vinegar, copper sulfate, and acetic acid. Blacks are made through oxidation in dissolved sulfur.

“The chemical modification is very sensitive and is affected by everything from the weather conditions to the dirt on my hands. It’s hard to make the same color every time,” he said in an interview with Kyoto Journal.

The final construction is a beautiful, permanent interpretation of the ephemeral dandelion, re-imagined in a way that appeals to Suzuki’s own aesthetic vision.

This Thursday, we’re saluting Shota Suzuki and his metallic dandelions. You can view similar works such as violets, cherry blossoms and even seaside daisies on Suzuki’s Instagram and webshop.

Sources: Shota Suzuki, This is Colossal, Kyoto Journal