Mad Hatter

April 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

After making my first animal hat – the bear – I really wanted to experiment with some different styles.

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Bear hat finished (above)

The bear hat turned out really well, but there are a few things I would have done differently in retrospect. The hat was too cap-like, and really worked more as a mask than a hat, the muzzle extended too far over the face, and the sides of the hat were too short.

So when I started on my next hat I decided to work on these points. I decided this time I was going to make a fox hat, and use 100% wool that I had washed and dyed.

I used the wool from Windmill Hill City Farm and dyed it with food colouring to create foxy colours (lots of orangey browns)

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I wet felted the ears separately, stitched them on and then needle felted over the seam. I then needle felted on the details like the eyes, nose and mouth.

With this hat, I cut into the sides half way through the felting process to create a frayed effect, which I really like!

I still think I need to work on making the head shape rounded in the initial wet felting stage. Because I start off by felting the whole thing flat around a resist, I have found it is difficult to predict the shape it will be when opened out. With this one I had to cut away some of the head and stitch it back up again to make the shape better, but I think the dome of the head is still a bit too pointy.

There is still a lot that I would like to refine when I make my next hat, but I really love this one! I wore it to my last market stall when it was half finished, and it got a lot of positive attention! I have also just started the base for a hare hat, so I will be writing about that soon!

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House-warming

April 3, 2015 § 1 Comment

We finally have internet again! And a house that is vaguely sorted out (downstairs at least, we don’t mention upstairs…) I also have a house-warming cold, which is nice. Things are coming together.

My felting has suffered a bit, I’m afraid to say. Most of my time has been taken up buying furniture, assembling said furniture and moving stuff around.  I did complete a couple of commissions recently though, and I even have some photos of one to show.

This one was a memorial sculpture of a lady’s dog, which sadly passed away a few years ago. The dog was a lurcher called Twiggy. Lurchers have a beautiful shape which was really nice to recreate in felt.

Here are a couple of photos of the finished thing.

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I especially liked doing her fluffy tail! I like a creature that has a bit of fluff, but not too much, as I learned with doing the aye aye. Very fluffy animals are time consuming, but all the same it is satisfying doing long fur.

It was also really nice to create a model of someone’s much loved pet, and get really lovely feedback on it. It was harder work than creating a random animal, as I wanted to get it as perfect as possible, but ultimately more satisfying as there is a more personal element to the work! I really hope I did Twiggy justice!

Anyway, I now have shelves, a desk and a designated working area and so I will be able to focus on all the projects I have been planning for but not had the time or space to do! I have a whole box of raw wool to wash and many projects in mind to use it for (more adventurous hats and a puppet to name but a few!)

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