A Little More Groundwork

I have been continuing to work on my Shelter exhibition umbrella tree. I finished the ground and the roots. Most of the ground was fairly flat so I wanted to add a bit more dimension. I thought about using raw wool to pad underneath but I was being stingy and didn’t want to use it all up. So instead, I used some really soft wool sweaters that I had originally gotten at the thrift store to make wool flower pins. They were too soft for that but would be perfect to pad underneath the ground felt.

tree paddingIn this photo, you can see the rolled up pieces of sweater on the bottom of the felt. I just rolled it up and needle felted a little to hold the shape. Then I needled the ground felt down to the sweater pieces.

gopher hole paddingHere you can see a little round bump I made. Can you guess what it’s for?

padded rockHere you can see how the surface now has more lumps and bumps to represent rocks etc. I then glued the ground felt down to hold it in place on the wood base.

gopher holeThe round bump turned into a critter hole. There was already a hole in the felt so I decided that the ground critters might need a little shelter too!

ground and roots completedHere, you can see what the ground looks like from above. I worked more on the roots as well, tacking them down and adding some texture with the felting needle.

close up rocks and rootsI really love how the roots came out. They look quite realistic in with the rocks and ground felt. I haven’t decided if I should add more details such as moss or just leave it. I don’t want to overwork it or make it “cutesy”. So there won’t be an animal popping its head out of the hole.

stitched poem on soluble fabric

Next, I wanted to add more texture to the tree trunk and I wanted to incorporate the tree poem inspiration into the piece. You can read the poem on my recent post at the Felting and Fiber Studio.  I used soluble fabric, put it into a hoop and stitched the poem in dark brown thread. I only messed up one word but as you’ll see in a minute, it didn’t really matter.

poem lines before dissolvingNext I cut all the lines of the poem apart and soaked them in water.

stitched poem dryingAnd this is the result. Stitching that vaguely looks like writing but you can’t really read it. Perfect for adding texture to my tree trunk. Now I just have to attach the lines of poetry. I will most likely stitch them on but I haven’t tried it yet. I could always glue them but I thought stitching would hold better.

Dennis and I did get started building the yurt frame. There will be a post tomorrow on the Felting and Fiber Studio if you’d like to see how the yurt is progressing. I’m off to LaConner, Washington next week for Level 1 Color Studies class at the Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts. I’m looking forward to it, I love being able to spend 5 full days immersed in creativity.



13 thoughts on “A Little More Groundwork

  1. The ground is really great and the texture on roots is too. I don’t think a little moss or lichen would be amiss as long as you don’t go over board. I think the hole was an inspirational use of a hole in the felt. Now it is a design feature. I can’t wait to see how the words look on the trunk.

  2. Thanks Ann – I do think I might add a bit of moss/lichen but as you say, not going overboard 🙂 Yes, the hole is a design feature, isn’t it? I can’t wait to see the words on the trunk too, I wish they’d just sew themselves on there 🙂

  3. Wow Ruth, your doing an amazing job of this, love the way all the roots looks, so real, a teeny bit of moss would look great, how bout a teeny tiny spider crawling out of that hole lol only joking 🙂

  4. Pingback: Yurt Beginnings | feltingandfiberstudio

  5. You continue to add so many unique dimensions, I can’t wait to see the finished piece. It will stand as a piece of art without anything cutesy.

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