Needle Felted American Presidential Race 2016: President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

2016-presidentiql-candidates
President Obama introduces the 2016 American nominees for president. Needle felted puppets. See this piece on the Huffington post: If this Art Could Vote:

http://ifthisartcouldvote.huffingtonpost.com/

My mother always told me not to talk politics or religion in polite company; that’s a tall order when writing or felting about the 2016 American presidential elections! I’ve been working on these needle felted puppets for months, inspired by the news and daily political events. I wanted to name the body of work but I’ve had a hard time choosing between: The Greatest Show on Earth, American Horror Story or Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue! Felting and re-felting the puppet faces for just the right look and creating the costumes for each puppet (mini suits and collared shirts are not easy to make). FYI: each puppets is wearing a handmade designer-suit because I bought designer suit fabric at my favorite fabric store and Hillary is wearing a little red crepe-georgette number of the highest quality!

bunny-ears-e
Needle felted Donald Trump and President Barak Obama “goofing around”. Titled: Bunny Ears

My conundrum was that I wanted to “put my two cents worth in” but really not offend anyone while doing it because I have dear friends on both sides of the debate. I couldn’t bring myself to trash talk anyone but sometimes just reporting on the behaviors of the nominees was enough. My thing with the election is just how “down and dirty” it has become and personally I find it distasteful and embarrassing for America.

hola-hillary-e
Needle felted puppet portrait: Hillary Rodham Cliinton

I think I can express myself just by “reporting” on the events or very similar events that have transpired over the last campaign year! Needle felting a portrait is either kind of easy or very difficult depending on your subject. Hillary Clinton has a delicate nose, she has no major defining features except maybe for her pronounced cheek bones; felting Hillary was tedious!

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Needle felted puppet portrait: Bernie Sanders. Titled: Peace Out

Bernie Sanders was the easiest portrait to felt because he has a pronounced nose, a facial shape that’s easy to recreate and hair that is “free” and easily recognizable.

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Needle felted puppet portrait: Donald Trump. Titled: I’m number one!

Here, Donald Trump says that he’s number one; there are abundant poses that can be used and that help with “the Donald” portrait! There are so many familiar physical characteristics that define Donald Trump that one would think felting him was very easy, but not so. Trump’s cotton-candy hair was the easiest part of his portrait but Trump also has a small, delicate nose that was very hard capture.

hello-barak-e
Needle felted Barak Obama puppet portrait, 2016.

Barak Obama was easy to felt; his features are not delicate and his look is easy to capture (salt and pepper hair and flying ears). I felted Obama eight years ago at the time he won his first presidential election. Eight years ago I didn’t have the right color of beige-brown to felt him so I had to mix the wool and I called the color Obama-brown. Today I have many more nuances of wool colors which helps immensely. You can see my progress from today’s Obama puppet portrait compared to the first Obama portrait of eight years ago!

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Needle felted Barak Obama portrait, 2008.

I had a lot of fun felting “situations” and even more fun felting the election 2016 video:

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“Donald you’re in my spotlight!” Puppet portraits.
sickly-e
“Tissue Hillary?” puppet portraits.

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My election felting has come to an end and I’ll now be riveted to my sofa in front of the t.v. to see who wins in November. In the meantime, Halloween felting continues and then onto Christmas felting! the-gangs-all-here-e

You can buy my needle felted puppets here on my Etsy site: https://www.etsy.com/shop/lauraleeburch?ref=pr_shop_more

Arts Business Institute Artist Profile: Laura Burch

Arts Business Institute | Artist Profile: Laura Burch

June 3, 2016

Fiber artist Laura Burch presents her delightful portfolio. We spoke with her about building a business, and her advice for others.

 

Needle felted Louie and stick by fiber artist Laura Burch. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

ABI:  How did your move to Israel change your life and your art business?

LB:  Moving to Israel changed my life completely; I had to adapt to things like the metric system, using Celsius instead of Fahrenheit, using a different currency, a different language and make peace with living as a foreigner.

 

Rose hat by fiber artist Laura Burch. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

When we lived in Chicago we bought a lot of Disney costumes because the girls loved to play dress-up and wear pink, sparkly things and those types of beautiful, quality items didn’t exist in Israel. I started making the girls’ costumes as well as classic style dresses for birthday parties and special occasions.

 

Elf hat by fiber artist Laura Burch. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

Other parents noticed the costumes and beautiful clothes and asked me if I would make these things for them too; this is how my store, Burch and Daughterscame to be and my entrepreneurial life started. We created a magical store filled with handmade treasures for children. I also wrote two craft books (with patterns) showing how to make some of my most popular toys: Sew Magical for Baby and Sew Magical for Kids.

 

Needle felted Smiling Isaboo by fiber artist Laura Burch. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

ABI:  You have a new studio and a new direction. Tell us about that.

LB:  We bought and historically restored a home in Jaffa, Israel. The building is at least 150 years old, its architecture is Ottoman and it used to be a barn. I have my studio in our home, it has stone vaulted ceilings, stone walls and arches divide the large spaces and serve as the shape for the windows. I am in the process of “fixing” my studio; it is an overwhelmingly ancient looking space balanced out with very modern elements such as the cement floors, modern furniture and modern decorative pieces.

 

Needle felted Pig by fiber artist Laura Burch. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

As the girls have grown up my interests have changed; I still make some of the things I used to but now they are more geared for adults. I base my artwork on the dry-felting, textile technique of needle felting. I’d like for my work to make a difference; I’ve recently become somewhat of an animal rights advocate so I’d like to make a body of work to promote awareness about animal rights and I’d like to show it in galleries.

 

Needle felted pit bull and kitty by fiber artist Laura Burch. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

There are many needle felted dogs and animals on my studio shelves, I’ve been needle felting these miniature sculptures, selling them and taking custom orders on my Etsy and Artizan Made sites. I donate proceeds from specifically designated sales of the dogs to my favorite animal rescue organizations.

 

Needle felted "Pedro" by fiber artist Laura Burch. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

ABI:  Given your extensive background as an entrepreneur selling her art and other products, what advice would you have for new artists who want to follow their dreams?

LB:  When I was in university, business of art classes weren’t offered. I would highly recommend learning the ins and outs of business pertaining to art. I’ve found that Etsy has many helpful postings on all business related issues for artists. Business skills are not only knowing what to sell, how to sell, negotiation, how to price your work, where to find the best sources, how to deal with business loans, what the difference between a C corp or an LLC is.  It’s also knowing what your rights are as an artist and how to protect yourself.

 

Petey the Pitbull Circled Eye by fiber artist Laura Burch. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

Copyright your work, negotiate royalties and make contracts at the beginning of business ventures. Also layout your goals and course of action in writing. The more experiences you have, the smarter you’ll be (art contests, art shows, classes, seminars and lectures on your chosen subject, attending and/or participating in craft trade shows and jobs).

Learn everything you can about your chosen medium! Most importantly: participate in everything you can because you will become recognized and doors will open because “one thing leads to another!”

 

Home

laura's vacation
Home

“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.”
― George Augustus MooreThe Brook Kerith

southern Indiana
Aunt Lee’s barn

“Home is where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”
― Lois McMaster BujoldThe Vor Game

americana
the diner

“I think what you notice most when you haven’t been home in a while is how much the trees have grown around your memories.”
― Mitch AlbomFor One More Day

americana
manners count

“Home is a notion that only nations of the homeless fully appreciate and only the uprooted comprehend.”
― Wallace StegnerAngle of Repose

farms iin America
I couldn’t understand what he was saying to me!

“I believe that one can never leave home. I believe that one carries the shadows, the dreams, the fears and the dragons of home under one’s skin, at the extreme corners of one’s eyes and possibly in the gristle of the earlobe.”
― Maya AngelouLetter to My Daughter

american vacation
South Haven, Michigan

“How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”
― William Faulkner

laura's vacation
South Haven pier

“I live in my own little world. But its ok, they know me here.”
― Lauren Myracle

kite flying
Elli flies a kite in South Haven

“In life, a person will come and go from many homes. We may leave a house, a town, a room, but that does not mean those places leave us. Once entered, we never entirely depart the homes we make for ourselves in the world. They follow us, like shadows, until we come upon them again, waiting for us in the mist.”
― Ari BerkDeath Watch

american vacation
South Haven, beach

“The heartland lies where the heart longs to be. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to find the true place to plant it.”
― Vera NazarianThe Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

trip to America
visiting great friends

“Where we love is home,
Home that the feet may leave,
but not our hearts.”
― Oliver Wendell Holmes

American vacation
American Laura

“I knew then that I wanted to go home, but I had no home to go to–and that is what adventures are all about.”
― Trina Schart HymanSelf Portrait, Trina Schart Hyman

vacation in America
Going Home

Being an American Abroad

playground slide
American-steps on a child's playground slide

Photo Friday: A few thoughts about being an American Abroad: Living abroad can give you a new perspective on where you’re from, in my case, The United States of America. When I was a little girl and I said my prayers at night, I used to give God my address at the end of the prayer so he could find me. Friends of mine from South America have pointed out in the past that they too are from America, just in an another hemisphere and everyone from all “Americas” should point out which one so as not to be presumptuous. People here in Israel tell me that I don’t seem American. With great interest and surprise, I ask them “what does an American seem like?” Their answer is “loud”. I didn’t realize this. Some American reality shows, politicians and news stations (Fox) make me embarassed to be an American, foreingers see these things and make assumptions about all of us. Even though you shouldn’t lump all people into one category, many people do and it makes us look bad.  When something happens back home, like recently when the Americans killed Osama Bin Laden, a few Israelis congratulated ME. I told them I really couldn’t take credit for that, but I hope it makes the situation better (but I’m not holding my breath). My father was a soldier in the Korean war and he was very patriotic, he believed that you should not desecrate the flag in any way. I disagreed with him, I believe you should have the right to express yourself even if it means using the flag to do so-and I also believe that Americans should realize that to be able to protest and express yourself freely (normally) without government reprisal are a few of the many rights we have that shouldn’t be taken for granted-the Middle East is a good place to be reminded of this. My daughters have been learning the pledge of Alligence and the American National Anthem and this make me very proud indeed!