Strangely Beautiful

By Catherine Baldau


The staircase winding down to Sonya Evanisko’s studio hints that something strange and wonderful waits below. Thick treads of white oak with raw bark edges seem to float one on top of another. Irregular lines swirl through the woodgrain, around knots that stare like curious eyes. Turn right at the bottom of the stairwell and you enter a typical artist’s studio: works-in-progress scattered on a large table, shelves packed with paints and supplies, the jumble of colors and textures. But turn left and you enter the unexpected, enchanted world of kokedamas.

Similar to the Japanese art form of bonsai, koke-dama translates to “moss ball.” These plants dangle free of containers, their roots protected by a coat of moss. By adding whimsical, artificial elements, Evanisko has sculpted them into living art.


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