Animal Samurai - Sandhill Crane, Rabbit, Grey Heron
Needle-Felting Description, Background, and the Work itself.
Needle-felting utilizes a 3” needle with a roughened edge, which when worked into loose wool fiber or roving, slowly tangles or felts the fiber together. The more you work the needle into the wool the denser and tighter the felting.
The same needle is used in the industrial felting process and is locked into a large plate, with thousands of other needles, which are used to felt a large, continuous piece.
For my work, I use a single needle which gives me the precision and control I need to form and sculpt pieces. Many of the animals and figures I make are formed over a wire armature to allow for moving parts and posing the piece.
See video below for a very short demonstration:
The Animal Samurai designs shown above were originally developed after a request from my then seven-year-old son, who wanted an action-figure, modeled after a specific book character.
The figures when well and tightly felted over wire, are supremely durable, and can be manipulated into all sorts of dynamic, fighting stances.
The results of this initial foray were so rewarding for both of us, that I was compelled to keep exploring the potential of this technique, the limits of the material itself, and the possibilities of the designs.
Continuing the Work.
After more than 15 years, I still find the felting technique and the inspiration for subjects, unendingly fascinating, and continue to learn more about the whole design process.
The material itself, natural wool fiber, lends itself so well to rendering the animal forms and other figures; it so easily captures the textures and natural colors. One of the techniques I’ve developed over the years, is blending and thinly layering different colors and shades of wool, to achieve more subtlety and depth.
I am always open to requests for custom work and requests. Many designs were initially developed from customer input, which has proven to be such a rich source of ideas.
These are the original animal-samurai prototypes I made more than 15 years ago. They are a bit worn and dusty, but have held up pretty well over the years.
*Common Ground Country Fair will run from September 22, 23 and 24.
*Please visit the Maine Craft Association Store in Portland, Maine (521Congress Street), to view work.
*For any purchases, other inquiries or to place a custom order, go to the "Contact" page.