Marquette artist & inventor creates Christmas ‘living tree’

(Photo courtesy Earl Senchuk)

MARQUETTE — A Marquette artist and inventor has come up with a new seasonal version of one of his creations.

Earl Senchuk uses concrete to make large, tree-shaped sculptures. He calls them ‘living trees’ because they’re usually decorated with flowers or other plants, but he’s come up with light fixtures that he calls Moody Blues, large bundles of blue Christmas lights.

“A friend of mine from (Marquette’s) Zero Degrees Gallery made a suggestion,” Senchuk said. “She sent me an email about a website called Lighted Christmas Balls and said, ‘you can make these in your sleep for your tree!’ And I thought, ‘well, I’ll check it out’, and I thought it was possible.”

Each Moody Blue light fixture contains a string of 300 lights. The bundles are made from chicken wire, so they’re lightweight and they allow falling snow to pass through easily.

“It’s hard coming up with ideas all the time for these trees,” Senchuk said. “I teach my students how to do it, but they can’t get tumbleweeds; they can’t get pine boughs in different parts of the country, so everybody has access to Christmas tree lights.”

Earl’s concrete tree at the Marquette Post Office will be decorated with Moody Blue light fixtures for the remainder of the winter. The tree has room for seven bundles, and those 2,100 lights make quite a scene at night!

You can find Earl’s instructions on how to make them by clicking here.