Growing Roots and a Bit of Ground

I have been continuing to work on my exhibition piece and it is getting closer to being finished. I started with felting a bunch of rocks, then ground to cover the base and last I made roots. Now I just have to put them all together, sew on the nuno felt to the umbrella and finish up the details.

Felted RocksThe rocks went pretty quickly, I used a variety of grays, black, browns, tans and greenish/browns. Even a little bit of red. The rocks in Montana are a variety of colors.

Lay out under treeNext up, I laid out the wool around the base. I wanted to felt it right around the trunk so it there would be no seam. I’m sure I could have done a piece of pre-felt but decided just to felt it right in place.

Wetting it down


Here it is being wet down. I had the felted rocks on top of the wool but decided they would have to come off or everything wouldn’t felt properly.

All Felted


Here it is drying in the sun after it was completely felted. I did have a bit of shifting of the surface “earth colored” wool but that will most be covered up by rocks, roots and other finishing details.

Soft rootsNext up was making some spikes for roots. Here they are after dry felting and rolling on the “Turbo Felting Board”. This board really works great for making cords. You can use stair tread that they sell at hardware stores as a substitute.

Felted rootsHere are the roots after felting down. I didn’t harden them up because they need to be shaped once they get attached to the tree.

Around the trunkHere’s the entire tree with the roots just laid down. It almost looks finished now!

Needle FeltingNext up was a little needle felting to shape the roots and attach them to the trunk.

More like a rootAh… that looks more root like.

Partially FinishedI got two roots started on the needle felting process. I am still going to add some padding underneath the “earth” and glue it down so it won’t be shifting around if someone touches it. So it is getting there. I am happy with how it is turning out.

I also thought you might like to see part of my inspiration for this piece. A poem by Karen Shragg:

Think Like a Tree

Soak up the sun
Affirm life’s magic
Be graceful in the wind
Stand tall after a storm
Feel refreshed after it rains
Grow strong without notice
Be prepared for each season
Provide shelter to strangers
Hang tough through a cold spell
Emerge renewed at the first sign of spring
Stay deeply rooted while reaching for the sky
Be still long enough to hear your own leaves rustling









About ruthlane

When I discovered felting in 2007, I finally found the creative outlet for which I had been searching. I love that the versatility of fiber allows me to “play” with a wide variety of materials including wool, silk, fabrics, yarns and threads. Creating one of a kind fiber art pieces to share with the world fulfills my creative passion.
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24 Responses to Growing Roots and a Bit of Ground

  1. Lyn says:

    I love the base – the tree is really ‘coming to life’.

  2. louise constantineau says:

    Wow lots of work, love it too. And the poem….beautiful!

  3. Amazing how realistic those roots look.

  4. zedster66 says:

    Wow, the earth and roots look really good, Ruth! Well done 🙂

  5. koffipot says:

    Looking really good Ruth. 🙂 What are the dimensions of this piece?

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks! It’s umbrella sized 🙂 I don’t know the exact dimensions but it’s about 2 feet tall and I think almost 3 feet in diameter.

  6. Marilyn Nelson says:

    Great job and lovely poem! If you set it on the ground near the irises, it would blend right in.

  7. Pingback: Floral Inspiration | Permutations in Fiber

  8. rindal2013 says:

    Love it Ruth! Can’t wait to see in real life!

  9. Suztats says:


  10. It’s coming along great Ruth. The roots are fabulous.

  11. kwinter12 says:

    Great roots, especially with the rocks! What does your husband think? 😉

  12. Karen says:

    Wow Ruth it looks amazing, the ground work looks real, I love the poem to.

  13. Pingback: A Little More Groundwork | Permutations in Fiber

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