Making Meditation Trees

I’m not sure exactly when the idea of making a Meditation Tree came to me.

At first I thought of making it into a potholder, but that didn’t feel right.  I knew it had to be longer than a potholder.  Also my potholders are functional as potholders.  I felt a Meditation Trees function was to be used for Meditation.  An image to meditate to or to be used on a Meditation altar.

I had a vague image in my mind about how my Meditation Tree would look.  I did some drawings and came up with a stylized tree that had a grounding trunk with its leaves cradled in two branches.  The earth energy would be a spiral coming up from the ground and into the tree.

I used an image from Ancient Trees,  Portrait of Time By Beth Moon for inspiration

Next I had to figure out what kind of fabric I would use.  So I walked around my studio looking at the fabric on my shelves and trying to picture using some of it as background.

Eventually I decided it should be  a piece of muslin but the solid off -white color was too stark.

That’s when I pulled the book Tantra Song by Franck Andre Jamme  off my shelf and leafed through it.

These are contemporary Hindu paintings based on painting from the 18th century used for meditation.  I had my image, but the background was what I was interested in.

One of the paintings from Tantra Song

Looking at the soft collages that are the ground for these paintings, I decided to tea stain my fabric. I wanted the random feel of a collage, some texture and depth.

The individual pieces of fabric tied with a rubber band ready to go into the pot of tea.

I cut twelve pieces of fabric to the size that felt right.  I boiled a big pot with teabags then left the fabric in the pot for a five or six hours.  I hung them to dry and ironed them the next morning.

The tea stained pieces of fabric

I left some of the wrinkle in the fabric, I like the crinkle as much as the tea staining.

three stages of drawing and painting  my Meditation Trees

Then I stitched the tree onto the fabric using maroon thread.  Next I stitched the spiral using  variegated tread of blues and purples.  After that I painted the leaves.

When they are done each Meditation Tree will be about 7″x11″.  I considered a bunch of different ways to hang them and decided that I wanted to keep the design simple by not adding a hanger.

I have used 3M hanging strips to hang some of my fiber pieces and they work really well.  They don’t leave any mark on the fabric or the wall and they easily hold a piece this size.  Each Meditation Tree will come with four strips for hanging.

Now I am waiting for my Meditation Trees to dry and next week I will sew backings onto them.  They will be $40 each + $5 shipping.

As always, because I stitch and paint each Meditation Tree individually they are all slightly different.

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Full Moon Fiber Art