Monday, May 30, 2011

Experimenting With Felt

I have always been attracted to well-made felt dolls, whether made by dollmakers from the past like Lenci or Steiff or by more contemporary makers like Maggie Iacono and R John Wright. I've made a few in the past with mixed results, but I've had the "doings" sitting around here in my studio to have a real try. I bought some lovely pure wool felt a few years ago and I'd sculpted a head with the idea to cover it with felt. I even had a body pattern drafted to try. Yesterday, on a whim, and with all the constellations in the right place, I got out all the "doings" and put a little felt toddler doll with a chubby body together. Here it is all ready to have the features painted.





This little "Clover" (quilting tool?) iron is great for flattening the nap of the felt before painting - it tends to get a bit fluffed up when you are working with it. The iron also works to smooth the surface of the stuffed parts of the doll. Now I just have to think obout painting the face and adding some hair and clothes. I have already learned a thing or two: One - be very careful with the glue - it seeped through to the surface in a couple of places, but I think I'll be able to disguise it with shading. Two - making the hands with the two middle fingers joined makes it much easier to turn them - felt is tricky to turn. 

14 comments:

Rhissanna said...

This is exciting! I can't wait to see what you make of this!

Susie McMahon said...

Thanks, Rhissanna! It's exciting for me too, but I'm a bit daunted by painting directly onto the felt face - it's a bit sudden death - no second chances!

Mary Ann said...

I'm interested to see how you paint on the felt. I've tried it a couple of times and I wasn't too successful. Maybe it was the type of felt I was using.

Susie McMahon said...

Hi Mary Ann,
I've just finished painting this doll - it worked better than I could have hoped! She has a sweet face. I'll post some more photos tomorrow and gice a few tips on painting the felt as well. Chouice of felt is probably important - 100% wool felt is the best I think.

Zan Asha said...

Whoa, this is very different, indeed. Don't know too many folks in the states doing this (though don't quote me on it--they may be hiding about here and there), and definitely have not seen it before! Hoping you'll post pics soon! :)

Stitch1Peta said...

Love your little toddler felt girl, hope you had a great holiday/teaching trip in the States. Just sent you an email hope you got it.
Love

bensonbear said...

I might have to come visit soon, I've been following Sue McFadden's Blueprints in Felt Doll making. I sort of have a head sculpt done. But I've had to pause a while cos I gotta get some bears made to take with me next week to the Gold Coast. I'll see if I can get over after I get back. I have felt and glue but might need to use your little iron :o)

Susie McMahon said...

Actually Linda, didn't you give me the little iron? It's very useful.

I'm having a studio day on Sunday if you're interested or can afford the time......Val is coming! (as well as the usual suspects)

Dixie Sargent Redmond said...

Hi, Susie! What a marvelous little being you're creating. Thanks for sharing the clover iron tip. I have one of those and have NEVER used it. :-) Good luck with the rest of the process. I appreciate that you are always pushing the boundaries a bit.

Dixie

Margarita said...

This is a wonderful doll, your skills as a doll maker are awesome!

Hanni said...

What a wonderful doll! Very well made!

Veronica Wallace said...

You did a beautiful! I am very impressed!!!

Brittany Wolf said...

I've done needle felting before however I could never get the surface to be as smooth as some artists could get them (Even spending hours just trying to get all the loose fibers needled in!) I actually have a clover iron and never thought of this! This is a beautiful doll!

Cherrie Mckinstry said...

Wish I had seen this sooner. Are there more developments or updates?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...