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A rainwater collecting tree that doubles as a clothesline

Christina Bertea is an artist and a plumber. She also believes her art can be not only beautiful, but functional.

In 2009, she created the Rainflower, a sculpture crafted out of galvanized sheet metal that collected water. But she knew it could do more.

In 2010, she created the Raintree, a wooden “tree” that not only collected water, but doubled as a clothesline in the summertime.

The Raintree is made from mahogany plywood scraps, salvaged umbrella stand and a vinyl made from recycled convention banners. During the rainy season, Bertea estimates the tree can capture three 65-gallon barrels of water.

In the summer, the vinyl comes off and the tree serves as a clothesline, demonstrating the Permaculture principle of stacked functions. As Bertea argues, “anything worth doing/making should accomplish more than one purpose”.

In this video, eco-artist Christina Bertea shows us her Raintree where it was on display at San Francisco’s Tenderloin National Forest.