Creatures of the British Wilds

February 28, 2014 § 8 Comments

I have been furiously felting British Wildlife of late.

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The creatures of Britain hold a special place in my heart. You see, as a child I was obsessed with animals. I wanted to be a zoologist. I read all the wildlife books in my school library. Well, when I say read, I mean I looked at the pictures, and tried to draw photo realistic copies of these pictures. I didn’t realise then that liking animal didn’t mean that zoologist was the only available job option to me.

Any way, I digress.

I lived in the countryside from the age of ten, and I used to go searching for wildlife – collecting little fish from a stream, only to let them go again, waiting impatiently for bats to come out at dusk, crawling through hedges looking for birds nests. And occasionally I’d stumble upon a hedgehog, or a badger, sometimes even a deer, and this would fill me with such excitement.

To me, British mammals have an heir of mystery about them, something I feel but I cannot explain. Like they are the last remnants of something magical in a place that has very little wild left. Every time I see a wild creature I feel truly privileged. I still get the same buzz of excitement that I did when I was a child. So my recent felting projects have been in honour of this.

I know that fallow deer are not native to Britain, they were introduced in the 11th century, but hey, rabbits aren’t native to Britain either, and they are one of our commonest animals!

First here’s the Badger. I have only seen three live badgers. Mostly they are dead by the side of the road, which saddens me. They are wonderful animals, so full of character!

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And the fallow deer –

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I am going to stay focused of British wildlife for now, I’ve got many more to make!

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Good Morning Sunshine!

February 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

Just a quick post here…

In honour of the rain.

I’m not a big fan of Winter. Its fun for a while, before Christmas maybe when everything is festive. When there’s mulled wine and markets and light. But then the novelty wears off and it all gets a bit depressing and relentless. And this year it decided it was going to rain. Forever. And so it did.

As a young artist, with not very much money, I don’t have a car. I work at the opposite end of Cardiff to where I live. All the theatres I have worked at are also at other opposite ends of Cardiff. I do not own an umbrella, I cycle, and my waterproof coat is in fact not waterproof (a tragic failing there) so the last few month have been pretty damp for me, to say the least. On countless occasions I have turned up to work looking like I swam. I was starting to get a bit fed up, and began contemplating tactically evolving into a fish, or moving to somewhere warmer. Venus maybe…

On Sunday, IT DIDN’T RAIN! the sky was gloriously blue, with little clouds floating like unlikely buoyant marshmallows. It was wonderful. Except, I spent the whole day at work, and when I left it was dark. I missed a whole day of sunshine!

This little badge here, I made in memory of the sun that I MISS SO MUCH! I know she’s up there somewhere, desperately trying to burn her way through the clouds. YOU CAN DO IT SUN, I BELIEVE IN YOU!!!

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What does the fox say? I hear you ask…

February 5, 2014 § 1 Comment

The boiler in my house is leaking, and has been for about a week. Someone’s supposedly coming round to fix it today, between the hours of 8 am and 1 pm. Eugh.

So I got up before 8 when they may or may not arrive, and I don’t really function in the mornings. so I’m sort of sitting, staring in to space and feeling sorry for myself. I bet they get here at 12.30, and I’ll have probably accidentally gone back to sleep by then, thus completely negating the process of getting up early in the first place.

Because I am now bored as well as sleepy, here are some pictures of this fox that I made a couple of weeks ago

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I had high hopes for this one, but it didn’t turn out exactly as planned. I think by making him with his mouth open, he looks slightly demonic, as it was difficult to make teeth small enough to be realistic. And I wanted to make him more fluffy, but in the end the head took so long that I gave up.
Still not bad I think, Thought I can’t tell if it’s better or worse than the last fox I made.

This was one of the first animals I made, back when I was just learning how to felt
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I took some process photos of demonic fox as I was making him, a habit I’ve started to get into for everything I make.
I start with a wire armature, then felt the wool around it, starting with cheaper undyed wool and adding the colour and detail once I have the basic shape I want.
Actually I start with a cup of tea, then I make the armature!
The wire is good because it means I can change the pose once the animal is complete.
First fox didn’t have an armature, and as a result his legs were a bit floppy and he didn’t hold his shape very well.

The Wool before I start –
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Basic shape
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Adding colour
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Well, its 9 o’clock and the boiler man isn’t here yet. I should probably just give up and go back to bed!

This penguin loves you

February 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

I thought I’d better quickly jump on the Valentines bandwagon before it has completely run its course, so I made this little penguin. Holding a heart. Ugh.

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I was making it whilst watching Black Swan, which just happened to be on TV at the time, and is one freaky film. Luckily I wasn’t paying that much attention.

I battled with whether or not to add the heart, as to me it feels far to cheesy and overdone. But, its kind of cute I guess, in a sickly sort of way.

It was suggested to me that maybe I should stop making cute things, as everyone makes needle felted adorable animals, and I should attempt to felt something that’s really ugly. I am tempted to give this a go, though I suspect that the very act of rendering something in wool will instantaneously add a cute fluffy factor, no matter how grotesque I try and make it.
We shall see.

The penguin is available to buy here

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