There's an undeniable magic to fall. We put on our favorite sweaters and blazers and walk out into a world of brilliant colors, the leaves in radiant hues falling around us as we go about our day. This universal love of autumnal foliage is at the heart of German-born, UK-based artist Susanna Bauer's mesmerizing practice, wherein she turns fallen leaves into small sculptures stitched together with delicate crochet work.
"People see a leaf as something very temporary, there for a couple of seasons and then disappearing into the cycle of nature that we are all part of," Bauer says. "Dedicating time to such a seemingly impermanent object, and conserving it in another context—to me, that's both an homage to nature and also a reflection of our relationship to the world around us."
Keep scrolling for more of Bauer's lovely work, and discover how she makes these fragile sculptures.
"My leaves are not treated or coated with anything before I work with them. I have very fine tools and a lot of patience. It's the tightrope walk between vulnerability and strength that I find particularly engaging."
"The creation of a piece of work happens in stages, and it starts with collecting leaves. Only a small number of the leaves I take to the studio end up being selected for a piece of work. I usually have several pieces at various stages on my work tables."
"Cleaning and sorting leaves, preparing threads, crochet work, mounting and framing, time spent trying out new ideas that might or might not lead somewhere—it's all part of the creation process. It can take days or sometimes weeks to get a leaf finished."
"My mother knitted a lot and my grandmother was a seamstress, so I grew up with wool, yarn, and fabric."
"I hope the work slows someone down to think about how delicate nature as a whole really is, and how fragile we are as human beings, subjected to the tensions and pulls in our connections and relationships. The technique of crochet is a nice metaphor, as it is all about tension."
"I often see people walking past my work, then turning back and taking the time to look. And sometimes they walk away with a smile or start a conversation about what it makes them feel—and a connection has been made."