Needle felted Jacob Sheep, Chair & Rug

The creative process is full of changing flights of fancy.  Initially the Jacob was to sit at a spinning wheel… but first I made the chair & rug.  And having paused the Jacob project to try my first wet felted wall hangings, I was sorta fixated on wet felting.  A wee sample became a miniature panel and of course it looked just right in the sheeps lap.  This sculpture is currently visiting the Fiber Arts Display at Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival 2018. throughout the weekend of Sept 22nd & 23rd.fullsizeoutput_2621Mirabelle sits comfortably in her custom chair, with her feet upon an ottoman.  Stitching a family portrait, and gazing down to admire images on her family lineage.

IMG_8550fullsizeoutput_2623The rug is wet felted of mostly Jacob wool, with a bit of green merino blended in the band.  The acorns & sheep were finished with needle felted details.  I had just as much fun laying the tufts of dark wool so their sun-bleached tips made the rugs central circles.

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Plotting the color scheme…. Then felt small pieces to test the colors next to each other.

IMG_8154Serendipity happened when things didn’t go as planned: the Jacobs were meant to be wholly within the green border, and a white spot laid to indicate each.  But the green band shrunk narrower and so the added sheep legs & horns spilled over outside the green band.  Not original intention, though a better resulting design.

The pre-felt oak leaves I laid on green felt band flattened in more than I expected, but needle felting extra wool atop the dry rug made leaves stand out nicely.  Needled details were added to the individual sheep… and sure, I told them stories of their lineage as I created them (I put that something extra into all my work.  It’s cuz I live in an alternate Danaland universe.  Did you even have a clue?)

I am smitten with soft, bouncy Jacob wool; it both needle felts and wet felts nicely.  You can have blacks, browns, greys, whites, and even the sun-lightened fleece tips can be a desirable design feature.

The tall chair was planned to accommodate the extra height of the sheep.  Strong bent wires and fanciful lines of construction – – – I think I was channeling my inner Dr. Suess.  Cute little acorn cap finials were the inspiration to carry acorn theme into the rug.fullsizeoutput_261aIMG_8532

IMG_8537fullsizeoutput_261dHere’s a story:  at Black Sheep Gathering, a delightful customer were chatting about our shared enthusiasm for needle felting.  She shyly asked me a few construction details, unsure I’d give away my “creative secrets.”  You serious?  I just blurt that stuff right out  – – – same as I do on these blog pages.  You gotta spread the creative energy around & my sharing tips or techniques I’ve figured out doesn’t detract one molecule from my soul or creations.  Quite the opposite; sharing lights a magic spark in the other person, magnifying the joy for both of us.

We shared grumbles about experimenting with multiple glues trying to tame the fuzzies on wool-wrapped stems & creature legs; usually resulting in “glue dandruff” when it dries.  Very frustrating.  But I had recently tried Matte Varnish, and it worked so well,  I was eager to help her out.  She was pretty excited to go try it on her own creations.  In return, she told me about a source for extra-thin pipe cleaners to use for critter fingers.  Thankyousoverymuch!

Please do drop by our booth and share photos or stories of your own woolly creations.  I  truly would love to hear all about it..

 

 

 

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