Welcome to Felter Skelter, your essential guide for needle felting inspiration and ideas!
This post was published way back in 2013, however, we thought you deserved a new look at it – what is character felt?
Although some artists are fluent in a variety of media, seldom do we see a single concept fully realized in more than one. Occasionally we get to see the sketch or study, but to see a piece come to life in both 2D and in 3D is even rarer, which is why the pieces I want to show you today are so special….they are so much more than wool.
Are You Ready For Adventure?
Davina Behin Jones is an illustrator and needle-felter living in San Francisco, CA. She cites a passion for storytelling as her inspiration, which is clearly evident in her work. The examples above show the development of her “Lorisnail” character felt from concept to both finished illustration and sculpture. The Nautilus character seems to emerge from the background of one illustration and into the subject of its own beautifully detailed sculpture.
Steph Laberis is another illustrator who brings her character felt to life with the needle felting method. She is based in Berkeley, CA and specializes in character design for videogames and animation. The examples above demonstrate how skilfully she translates character illustrations into sculptures. Her unique style carries over so seamlessly from one to the other that, when looking at the sculpture and illustration for a piece like “Raturdae,” it’s impossible to tell which came first! Find more of Steph’s creations here.
Seeing these images side-by-side it is easy to imagine each character having a whole world of their own, however the physicality of the sculptures ground them firmly in our world as well. The pairing of real and imaginary is also present in the ‘character felt’ themselves. The dedication to character and narrative is part of what makes this work so appealing, so thanks to the artists for bringing these creatures into the world and thanks to YOU for reading about them.
Until next time!
What Technique Is This?
Needle Felting is the process of using a notched or “barbed” needle to compress layers of wool into denser felt that can be manipulated to create 3D sculptures. It is different to wet felting, which uses water to combine wool fibres, and these days there are a range of felting tools available that can enable you to make your own soft sculptures with ease!