This is part 3 of my ongoing series on what I like to call “character felt”. These are felt sculptures that tell a story. They are often, but not always (as you’ll see below), anthropomorphic animals. I keep coming back to this topic again and again because of the wealth of wonderful work out there. After all, needle felt seems perfectly suited to expressions of the imagination.
First up is Miss Bumbles, alter ego of illustrator Ruth Rivers. Her Etsy shop is full of the most delightful creatures (find more at http://www.etsy.com/shop/MissBumbles). Small animals like hedgehogs, foxes, and guinea pigs are all impeccably dressed in tiny handmade clothes, but the real magic is in their expressions. Looking at these creatures, I can easily imagine a whole miniature world where there are no people at all.
Next is Johanna Molina/Felting Dreams. Her world is home to adorable felted mice, who also sport handmade clothes and accoutrements. Their faces are full of wit and whimsy. I particularly like the sleeping pair pictured above, because even wee mousies need a warm bed in which to dream. You can find more of Johanna’s creations in her feature on the Etsy blog at https://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2013/featured-shop-felting-dreams/.
These next three are from Heide M./All Good Wishes. She makes all sorts of creatures for all occasions, but my favorites are definitely her vegetables. Their oversized eyes and gangly limbs are so charming; they look like they have stepped right off the pages of a book. Find more of her creations at http://www.flickr.com/photos/allgoodwishes/.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s column as much as I have, and if you’ve made it this far, maybe you won’t mind if I shamelessly plug my own work a tiny bit. This month through April, I have an installation up at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York , so if you’re in the area and need to get your yarn fix, I hope you’ll pop in and check it out!
Zoë Williams creates needle felt sculptures based on spirits, sacred creatures, and dreams. Her work is concerned with the intersection of the (inner) realm of the collective unconscious and the (outer) kingdom of nature. She lives and works in New York City.
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!