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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Swigart


Burlap or a rough canvas work well for texture as does old hemp rope if twisted apart and used near the base as roots and what not.


Chicken wire covered with muslin stiffened with starch. Keep it crinkly and spray-paint.


For really deep gnarly bark some variation on foam carved, by hand or with lacquer thinner covered with cheese cloth for strength.


Sona-tube covered in cheese cloth bunched at random spacing and glued down with flex glue. Works well the paint tended to glue down some of the cloth.


Burlap covering chicken wire covered with various forms of texture like a mix of paint, flex glue, and powered clay which fills the pores of the burlap nicely and the chicken wire tends not the show.


Use 20' sonotube, staple strips of cardboard onto it, wrap it in muslin (glued and stapled around the ridges), texture it with Gaxxon and a comb, and then paint it. You end up with something that looks like a really straight maple tree. It is supported it by inserting plywood disks with a 2" hole in the center into the trees, then running a 2" pipe up it and flanging it to the floor.


Plywood base for the roots, wooden armatures, steel frame for the large trunk, chicken wire over everything, muslin over that and then layers of cut industrial felt which will be gooped and painted.


Wrap the structure in some 2" thick foam, or more. Get some scrapers, carves, whatever, and go to town. Then cover it with SculptCoat or FlexGlue and joint compound


Sculpted drywall mud.

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