Three Butts

Nash sourced these three enormous pieces of eucalyptus in California.

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Date and material

  • 2010
  • Eucalyptus
Three Butts California
Three Butts being cut in California (Photo by David Nash)

Making Three Butts

When Nash first imported these three eucalyptus trunks, he intended to carve another version of Three Humps. But, he says, 'When we cut the pieces, they were just so good that I felt they really spoke on their own, in terms of their proportions – these raw, big, dense pieces of wood.'

As you walk amongst these three pieces take time to appreciate how big they are, and the air of solidity that surrounds them.

When you open up a piece of wood it gleams.

David Nash

Bringing surfaces back to life

It has been three years since this wood was felled and during that time the ends have darkened, and fungi have started to grow in the sapwood. Nash describes this process: 'When you open up a piece of wood it gleams, it’s like all the light that’s been involved in forming the wood is entrapped there. It does this for about three or four weeks – in six months it will be grey.'

Photo: Eucalyptus at Kew Gardens
Eucalyptus at Kew

About eucalyptus

Eucalyptus are some of the world's fastest-growing trees and their wood is especially dense; the biggest piece in this grouping weighs 11.5 tonnes.

Eucalyptus bark often falls off in long strips or flakes as old bark is replaced with new. As these felled sections of wood have dried, the bark has shrunk and peeled off to reveal their natural surface.

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