Monday, August 6, 2007

Needle Felting: Uh-oh...

...I feel another addiction coming on...sigh...

So, you take a ball of fluff (wool roving) and jab it a gazillion times with a very sharp, barbed needle (a specialized tool) until the fluff is packed down into a shape.

It's really rather amazing.

I wanted to try it and was advised to start with a kit, so I did a search in EBay, for "needle felting", and found a very nice kit, listed by Blue Goose Glen. It came with most everything I needed, along with instructions which had lots of color photos of the step-by-step process for making an adorable, little purple bear.

When my kit arrived in the mail, I couldn't wait to get started, so as soon as I could get away from everything else and settle down into my "Satellite Lab" (the bed) I opened the box and began looking over all the supplies. I read all the instructions, carefully, before beginning (not like me, at all), then, when confidence was high, I sat back with my "fluff" and my foam pad (Cardinal rule # 1. Always work on a foam pad!!) and began my project. After a while (all that evening and part of the next day) and a couple of finger pokes ( I only drew blood twice) I had a surprisingly adequate sculpture of an adorable bear...that looked nothing like the one in the picture, but then...we all know...I'm a rebel. Their bear was short and cute and mine is tall with more "human" proportions. Theirs had an embroidered nose, mouth and paws, but I couldn't find my embroidery thread, so mine are felted.

This has to be one of the most satisfying, creative activities I've discovered, to date. Sculpting with wool. The detail that can be achieved is the amazing part. Right now, I am learning, so I'm practicing with whimsy. There are those on-line who are making some extraordinarily realistic creatures, as they combine this technique with others, like polymer clay. That's where I want to go. Since I have sculpted dolls in polymer for years, I am already ahead of the game, there.

I know I will be back, with more on this subject. Right now, I'm just trying to decide if I want to put clothes on this little guy.

Have a beautiful, creative day!



BLUEYEDUCKstudios said...


YOU KNOW I wanted to know all about needle felting!

And not only have you 'splained it - you are an explorer who has gone out and done it!!!!!


I love the tall bear... bears SHOULD be tall when they are purple - it makes complete sense!

MORE! MORE! Do More!

joy in the journey,

Steve B said...

With all that purple hair
Your bear can stand to be bare!

Melanie said...

I like bare bear too!!!

AND - oh no... I feel a new need coming on too.... this sounds soooo fun! And perfect for my lifestyle!

Thank you for sharing this in your blog Bettina!


zJayne said...

Hey, that bear is as precious as can be! I would have never seen it coming out of that clump of wool. Enjoyed your description of the process, including the finger pokes...what we'll do for creativity is amazing!

I'm knew to blogging so not sure how to find my way back but very glad to have come across this from the CaaT board! Thanks!

Dixie Redmond said...

Oh my. I've been resisting needle felting successfully up til now...and you put a link in. You did a wonderful job - this is your FIRST?

Bettina Makley, aka Fairywebmother. said...

Thank you all, for your nice comments! :)

Dixie...yes this is my first attempt at needle felting. I have a background in polymer sculpting and soft sculpture, which may give me a small edge...but really...this is a very easy technique to learn! Just jump in and try it! Buying a kit DID help! Now I am hooked, for sure!!!


Lance said...

A Jerry Garcia bear!! Now, just do one orange..and one blue...and one
Seriously, you did a GREAT job with it. It was fascinating to watch a little ball of fluff become solid shapes just by being jabbed. Just think...NOW you can sew little clothes for your animals, too...
Two thumbs up, for an awesome job!!

shellrose said...

Wow, Bettina! That is terrific!

Angie said...

Hi Bettina-
Thanks for coming to my blog. I love your bear! You did exeptionally well for your first try. I'll bet you're hooked now, aren't you? Hey, if you're interested here's a link to a great felting forum. Scroll down for needle felting chat:

Have fun-
Angie in WA

Anonymous said...

I found this site using [url=][/url] And i want to thank you for your work. You have done really very good site. Great work, great site! Thank you!

Sorry for offtopic