You know, the dogs have been the most challenging pieces I’ve done to date. I really feel like a sculptor after I’ve completed one of these dogs, the forms are tedious, especially the legs. I thought the dogs with long hair would take less time, but I was wrong. I wanted them to look a certain way, not neccessarily exactly like the photos but definetly real. I didn’t want to get caught up in minute details, I wanted a certain simplicity to stand out.
After I’d finished a few dogs, I felt I’d gotten the hang of it, but I wanted more from the dogs. After I’d completed each dog, I studied them for a long time and I felt that each one had a personality. I put all the dogs out in front of me and I started to play around with the possible interactions between personalities.
I started to see that the Dachshund was cheekier than the other dogs.
I’m continuing to study the dogs and to try to unravel the mystery of what makes a great felted dog personality! Is it a prop, the tilt of the head, the position of the body? Maybe all three? My real challenge is to be able to create a story with the dogs and to make the viewer relate to their message.
The needle felting process: Needle felting is the dry process of sculpting raw wool, using specially barbed needles; this art form is different from the ancient practice of wet felting which uses water. The barbs on the felting needles “weave” the wool fibers together, making them firm and strong. The needle felting process is time consuming ; one on my dogs takes from 10 to 15 hours to create each figure. Sculpting in wool can be compared to sculpting in clay in that it can be additive and subtractive; it is a very forgiving material and great detail can be achieved.