Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Lots of needle felt animals with boring technical talk
This weeks project was detailing, firming up and altering some of my previous animals . I also took some more detailed and up close pictures of my previous animals . I did notice that just changing the angle of the photograph made a difference in the over all effect .
Above is the "Welcome to Canada Beaver" . I had originally wanted to make him a lumber jack....which is why I added the mustache and planned on sewing a red/black check jacket for him . Doubting that will ever happen but perhaps I will make him a "welcome to Canada" sign to hold.
I spent about three hours firming the limbs, adding ears and paw pads . Although the picture doesn't really show much of a difference, he is much sturdier, proportioned.
The above was another subtle make-over doing a bit more shaping of the limbs and I covered the original "pinkish brown" with a bit more natural looking brown . Unfortunately, the flash combined with the green wet felt mat still make this redder then it is in person .
On of my biggest challenges
in learning to needle felt is how to create a fur look but still have the fiber firmly attached . I think using fiber with low lights and high lights...like natural hair...helps with that but it still doesn't have the "fuzzy" look of fake fur animals . On the other side, it does allow for more sculptural muscular look of short haired animals .
I have done a few animals using a technique of needle/rooting in small sections if loose fiber but that has the problem of eventually matting/felting up....especially when using merino but I have had a little better result using alpaca or mohair that tend not to felt as easily .
Firmly felting the fiber to the hard wool sculpture does result in some poke holes but I have learned to use take fiber down with a 38 needle and firm with a 40...time consuming on my large sculptures but leaves a nicer surface .
I spent the most time...most of three nights, re-doing the above . He began as a :pop-eyed dog that I never liked and he had a head to toes make-over .Although he retains the basic dog body, I covered all with new roving and reshaped, reworked the head to get rid of the pop-eyes and added the teeth ,tusks and bits of rooted baby alpaca on the tail and around the face . He still may not be "cute" but at least he's interesting .
The following are just a few better, in door pictures of my photos from the previous week . Although most people suggest shooting with natural light, it seems to wash out the details of my animals . Though not perfect, I like the in door pics better .
I couldn't recall if I had shown this last guy before...but I really like his long arms and am becoming a convert to using mohair . It isn't as soft as the merino but I love the natural variation in color and shine of the fiber .
So that's it for my week . Next week will probably be a few more make overs and perhaps a few more fantasy creatures . Happy felting !