Encaustic Needle Felting

Winner of Fiber Art Now’s Excellence in Fibers VI 2020, Needle felted and waxed sausages.
Vegan Sausage detail. I’ve been using bee’s wax in my felted sculptures for about the 10 years; it started out as a way to help make the horns, hooves and noses of the animal sculptures that I felted more realistically. As my felted sculptures became more realistic, it bothered me to see something that I knew should be very smooth, appear a little fuzzy.

Needle felted wool, waxed pumpkin. Private collection: Dr. Aya Hadass. It also became a challenge  to create innovative ways to alter my sculptures. Each time I used the encaustic method, I learned something new. It has become a game of sorts, a challenge to myself to come up new techniques to alter the textures and colors of my sculptures. Keeping in mind that this is textile art, the appearance become quite unbelievable! Combining the felting technique and the waxing method have helped me to create a new outcome.

Needle felted-waxed pomegranate and beads. I like incorporating other elements into my pieces, of coarse making them mixed media. Beads , stems, glass eyes and embroidery are some of my favorite extra elements.
Needle felted-waxed fish and lemon.

Needle felting and Mixed Media

The beginning of the long process of embroidery.

At one point in my needle felting  I began to wonder how I could make the surface more interesting, so I began to experiment. I needle felted a mask using a large felted ball as a mold to help me obtain the curved shape of the mask. I felted the mask face as I’d felt any doll face but as I started to apply the colors of the face I became bored with the felted outcome. I decided to start the long, arduous process of embroidering the mask.

Theater Mask: the process.

It took me several years to finish this project because many other projects became more important and I put the mask away, time and time again. Because of the tediousness of the embroidery I wasn’t excited to finish it. 

Theater Mask, just the beginning…..

As I progressed with the mask embroidery, the shape of the mask changed and I had to keep reshaping it. Getting the needle through the center part of the face was very difficult. By this point (above) I was anticipating adding color so the process became more exciting!

Multi-media mask for Purim, Halloween or the theater.

The mask came to life with the addition of each different color that I added. The more colors applied to the surface, the faster I worked!

Theater Mask detail

I compare the many colorful thread stitches of my mask to brush strokes; the outcome reminds me of an impressionistic painting.

My Theater Mask has a felted, embroidered handle.

I sewed/glued a chop stick to the side of the mask for a handle; I felted a handle, embroidered it black and inserted the thread-wrapped chop stick into the handle. I sewed black beads around the mask to compliment the handle.

The inside detail of the theater mask.

The feel that the messy, inside of the mask is as interesting as the outside! I’m looking forward to my next needle felted-embroidered mask and I’m sure I will finish it in record time!