I spent February weaving a tapestry to gift my father for his birthday. I wove it straight onto a red gum block loom Dad had crafted me years ago. Dad loved seeing the redwoods on a California roadtrip once upon a time, so I really wanted to capture that forest scene… with bonus bear hiding amongst the trees!
My vision was a sort of 3D, layered effect. The loom had a row of nails along the top and bottom, so this made it easy to warp sections that overlayed one another. The photos below show how the different layers built up.
Into the distance…
This image shows 3 spearate layers of weaving.
I started out weaving a blurry background layer across the whole loom. I wanted to capture the greens of the forest and sky in the distance.
A second layer of thin trees was added. Again, this was to give the impression of looking through the forest. Each tree was only warped across part of the loom. For example, the thin bronze tree at the right edge was only warped between 3 nails.
The thicker tree at centre-left also includes some low shrubs in the middle distance.
To the front…
Additional layers of trees are woven over the top as the foreground comes into play.
I added loosely woven shades of green to the middle distance, for the foliage. The hemp twine was particularly effective for the redwood needles.
I chose a bright orange silk thread for the redwoods in the foreground, as if they were glowing in what sunshine managed to reach the forest floor.
Across the finish line!
Finally, I wove a bear separately, then tucked it in between the foreground trees. You can see it toward the bottom of the loom.
Most importantly – the good news is, he loved it! 🎉😆