The Python – Snake, Owl, Puma Part 2

Previously, in my post ‘Snake, Owl, and maybe a Puma‘, I found a piece of spalted maple that I thought looked like snake skin and decided to build an integrated python into the slab. This post will detail some of the steps and reveal the finished product.

First was building out the armature. I wrapped undyed merino wool around wire and needle felted it into place to get the rough shape of the python and then placed the pieces around the board to make sure I liked the layout.

Needle felted wire and wool armature of pieces of a python laid out against a spalted maple board. - Part of a series Snake, owl and maybe a puma
Snake Armature

I wanted a smooth, solid finish to my pieces which meant a CRAP TON of needle punches. By the end of the weekend, I was pretty sure I had felter’s elbow. Next came wet felting the snake skin to match the wood.

Wet and needle felted python pieces in tan, brown, pink and black wool laid on top of a spalted maple board to match color
Color matching to maple board

I thought the python’s head ended up too pink and the end curve a little too dark. So I added more blending with needle felting and also played around with the placement of the pieces. Also, I had to decide between glass or felt eyes. Ultimately I went with felted and think they turned out great.

I had my husband trim the corners of the board to match the curve of the snake to soften it. Then, I inserted dowels into each piece and screwed and glued it all together. Here is a picture of the final python. Although this particular python morph does not exist in real life, I think someone is going to want it now!!

Needle felted tan python with distinct black markings integrated into spalted maple slab
Python Final

I am very happy with how it turned out and am inspired to start the next in my series for Snake, Owl, and maybe a Puma. Excited to see what the wood store has looking back at me. This great shot from National Geographic is great inspiration.

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