I have been experimenting with another method of needle felting over a wired armature, and here in fall of 2013, am creating a wider variety of creatures with more flexible armature. This means greater expression is possible thru slight changes in pose, by gently bending limbs or turning heads. Example: The goat is tossing it’s head as though to exclaim “Aren’t I handsome!” The head may be repositioned again when he gets over himself. So now, in addition to my sturdier sheep, there will be a sprinkling of new critters inhabiting our show booths. Mice / squirrel / birds / and a Mole carrying his own pet earthworm!
I love being Whimsical ~ it allows somuch freedom to have fun exploring the malleable, creative qualities of wool! Why not create a Knitting Sheep? A Citrus Sheep? Or a green Faerie Sheep? And in my recent Fiber Arts entry taken to Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival, I knit a tiny sweater for the Bitty Bunny. I find miniature clothing as charming as Beatrix Potter did, and I will continue to dress more of my future needle-felted creations.
Hard-core Sheep: All my needle-felted sheep are buff critters! They are hard-core sheep. Literally.
1st: the core is wet felted of long staple wool, then the body, neck & head are firmly stitched together.
2: Wire armature is firmly embedded in core.
3: Ears are applied, legs wrapped and body covered with a base of wool roving in the correct color, built up via needle-felting to give the body shape the correct musculature & contours. Mind you, features are sometimes exaggerated in a ‘whimsical’ sheep.
4: Fleece is needle felted in place.
5: Finishing details of face, hooves, added ornamentation. Each step is time-consuming and great care is taken to create an attractive appearance.