Making tree rings in fabric – surface design tutorial

I love materials.

Often, the material just tells me what to do and I listen it. I don’t really have a choice, and the design becomes a collaboration. But sometimes you can wrangle it and distort it and make it do what you want it to do (with little violence, of course, mainly coercion).

Today I’d like to show you a great example of someone who has made a great tutorial about a surface design technique.

The images below may look like a photograph of tree rings, but it is done in fabric, stitching and 3D manipulation! Check out this tutorial by textile artist and lecturer  Barbara Schneider.

Here is what she says about her inspiration:

I’ve always been fascinated by tree rings, reading a tree’s history by examining changes in the shape and thickness of the rings, and wondering how its surroundings might have changed over the years. Here in the forest, my little cottage is surrounded by huge oak trees that block the sun and help keep my house cool in the summer. (And my driveway full of acorns in the fall.) Some of my trees are 2-3 feet across, but I have a feeling this plot of land was relatively tree-free when my house was built in 1925. How different it must have looked then!

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For further reading on surface design techniques, this is one of my favorite books (right up there with Bluebeard, by Kurt Vonnegut, which has nothing at all to do with surface design. It’s a great book,though.)

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And here are just some really cool images of tree rings for you to look at before bed.

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Sorry but I don’t know who painted this. #internetproblems

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