Beyond Bunnies – Accenting your gaden with art – Thomas Sayre Earthcastings – the Mother of all Garden Art

When I look back on my life, I will count meeting and being moved by Thomas Sayre and his garden art as a defining moment.  

Witnessing his art resulted in some of the pinches I did along the way wonderng how I got so lucky.  But more importantly, how was it that I was in the right place at the right time to see it installed?  Admiring his work is one thing, seeing it all come together is another.   

When talking with Thomas about his art, his passion cannot be denied.  Thomas is quiet, reserved and unassuming, yet his art speaks in high volume,  is bold and adventuresome. 

On Friday, December 5, 2008 I witnessed the lifting of Thomas’ latest earthcasting.  The final photos have not been taken.  The lift was not finished due to some further engineering considerations with regards to support. 

The lifting was an all day event and fortunate for me, not my first.  I knew what to expect having witnessed the prototype of Duets installed in Oxford 2 years earlier.

Enjoy the photo journey below starting with the model of the vision that led to this art being placed in a field, down a country road in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Model - nam?

The Model - name?


Digging out the frist tower

Digging out the first tower


The release of the first tower
The first tower being set in place

The first tower being set in place


The second tower lifted.  Not the first tower in the background.

The second tower lifted. Note the first tower in the background.


While tower one was on the ground, this photo was taken

While tower one was on the ground, this photo was taken


I’ll post the final installation in a couple of weeks after all the details have been worked out to set this art in place.

Below are some other examples of Thomas Sayre’s work.

The Tiller at Architectural Trees in Bahama, NC

The Tiller at Architectural Trees in Bahama, NC

The River Reels at the Finkles in Oxford, NC

The River Reels at the Finkle's in Oxford, NC

To learn more about Thomas Sayre visit


  1. tina said

    Wow! Not the biggest fan of the towers though the process is way cool, I surely love those circles though.

  2. Me too, the river reel circles are my favorite!!!!

  3. Grumpy Gardener said

    Thomas Sayre did some very prominent pieces for the Southern Living HQ building in Birmingham (where I work — or at least do a very convincing impression). He made these two very large sort of cone-shaped objects that are wider at the top than the botton, lit inside, and covered with this translucent orange material. Bohemians that were are, we didn’t recognize great art when we saw it, so we nicknamed the pieces, “The Carrots.” Mr. Sayre was not pleased.

    During a recent visit to Raleigh, Helen very kindly got me invited to a fancy soiree to honor some very prominent citizens. Who should we meet there, but Thomas Sayre. Helen introduced me and I was just about to say, “It’s a great pleasure. We love the carrots.” But then the beer line opened up and we had to make a mad dash for beer. Thank God for beer.

  4. If I remember correctly, GG, the best part of that evening was that you bought the beer…and the excellent company, of course. Wasn’t that also the time I asked why you limited naming yourself to Grumpy Gardener when you could have chosen Grumpy Guy instead and open a whole hew genre for yourself…

  5. Interesting! That first tower looks like a mud dobber (wasp) nest to me. It must be the red dirt. 🙂 ~~Dee

  6. Lorene said

    Thank you for opening my eyes to yet another incredible glimpse at how people interact with the earth. I am moved as well. Now off to google to look further into the mind of this artist. Thanks again.

  7. […] with Thomas Sayre about the model he is gifting me.  What an unbelieveable talent Raleigh and world has in Thomas. […]

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