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USS engineer's art brings new meaning to gift-giving

Scott Wilgar, University Support Services

By Emily Rushton

Scott Wilgar has been interested in art ever since he was a kid, when he spent his free time drawing pictures of Hot Wheels cars and watching his dad paint with watercolors.

“I’ve kind of dabbled in art throughout my whole life,” he said.

Wilgar, software QA specialist for University Support Services, has experience in drawing, painting, commercial art, watercolors, quilting, and more – but his latest venture is creating intricate trees out of wire and beads.

“I’ve always liked trees and the outdoors,” he said. “So, I just sat down and mapped it out in my head, and started making this wire tree.”

He brought his first tree into the office to show his coworkers, and almost immediately, a coworker asked if he could make a genealogy-based family tree for his wife for Mother’s Day. Wilgar decided to represent each member of the family with birthstone-colored beads.

“He told me his wife absolutely loved it,” said Wilgar.

Word spread, and Wilgar started getting more and more custom orders for holiday and Mother’s Day gifts.

“I’ve been doing it now for about five years,” he said. “I have all these ideas in my head of different things I want to do, but it’s just finding the time to do them.”

Over the past five years, Wilgar estimates he’s made about 30 trees – in addition to other projects, like a special quilt he made for when his daughter was born, and various painting and ink pieces when he finds the time.

While he makes other styles of wire trees, his most popular order continues to be the family tree.

“For the trees that represent a family, it takes on a greater meaning to people,” said Wilgar. “It’s like, this is you, this represents me, and these are our kids, and this is Grandma.”

Depending on the level of complexity, a family tree can take him anywhere from 10 to 14 hours to create.

One particularly complex family tree, which spanned four generations, took him 18 hours to compete.

“With that one being as complicated as it was, I actually did an Excel spreadsheet to map it all out,” he said.

Interested in following Wilgar and his art? Check out his Facebook page: Branching Out Art Company.

Last Updated: 11/29/17