Tag Archives: needle felted wool

Naked Anthropomorphism & Friendly Debate

Perhaps Minimalist Anthropomorphism & Friendly Debate?

I’ve mentioned before that I try to imbue my anthropomorphic figures with human traits as simply as as possible. I find it a challenge to make them appear human without merely dressing them up in clothes. My latest piece takes this to the limit. Friendly Debate shows a sparrow couple locked in discussion. Or, are they singing to each other? Perhaps it is a little of both.

Heated Debate anthropomorphic sparrow sculpture
Friendly Debate

I took my inspiration for this piece from a image I found online. The photo showed three house sparrows on a branch. The three birds appeared engaged in a heated debate. I loved the interactions shown, however, I decided to concentrate on just two of the birds. As a result, I created a sculpture that I’m not sure would still classify as an art doll, but it is definitely anthropomorphic. I find that result intriguing.

Friendly Debate is needle felted wool over a wire and quilt batting armature. I approached the bird’s feet and legs differently with this piece. In the past, I have felted a bird’s feet too, but the result is usually thicker than I like. For these bird’s feet I wrapped the wire with thread. I like the more proportional result. I was able to leave the end of the foot wires exposed, and then glued them into holes I drilled in their perch. The end effect is more realistic looking feet that really appear to grip the stick.

Also for Unmuted

Friendly Debate is also intended for my feature show at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts in September. This piece definitely fits one of the definitions of the word Unmuted… To produce sound again. You can almost hear the two sparrows in their Friendly Debate. Do you hear squawking or something more melodious?

Waiting To Be Sheltered

Last time, I introduced you to a new piece, Too Familiar, that you’ll have to wait a bit to see in person. That is the case this time around too. Let me introduce you to Sheltered Harvest.

Sheltered Harvest - anthropomorphic needle felted chipmunk sheltering acorn under a toadstool
Sheltered Harvest

This little anthropomorphic chipmunk is sheltering his acorn harvest under the umbrella provided by a toadstool cap. His sketch started out a bit differently in my sketchbook, but I’m happy with the changes I made. The rain and the toadstool were not in that original sketch. Their addition turns this sculpture into a complete little story.

Where will Sheltered Harvest be?

Sheltered Harvest will also be sticking around in my studio until my feature show in September. In addition, I also submitted him for the same publication as Too Familiar as he has an autumn harvest vibe. Holding back pieces is as hard for the artist as it is for the viewer. Generally, the last piece completed (assuming you’re happy with how it has turned out) is an artist’s current favorite. Some are even a special favorite. I have to say I feel that way about the charm of this particular sculpture. So, since we have to wait a little longer to enjoy him together, here’s a second view.

Sheltered Harvest - anthropomorphic chipmunk sheltering acorn under a toadstool.
Sheltered Harvest

Sheltered harvest is needle felted wool over a wire and quilt batting armature. His eyes are iridescent black glass beads. The acorn features some thread detail on the cap to create texture. The raindrops and the toadstool stem are attached by both felting and careful stitching onto the figure.

Sheltered Harvest will be with Too Familiar and several other new creations I will introduce over the coming months. They all will make their debut at my scheduled featured artist show at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts in September. We all hope you will come and see us then.

Something A Little Too Familiar?

“Too Familiar” is the latest creation to exit my work table. Her genesis came from an external source. You may recall my last post, where I described a couple of pieces that weren’t exactly born in my sketch book. This latest sculpture was born on those pages, but in response to some thing I came across.

I saw a posting regarding a new issue of a defunct art publication. The post announced a new issue in the fall, and included a link to info for a call for submissions. They were looking for art dolls that fit either a Halloween or autumnal theme. As my feature show this year is in September, and I was in the midst of sketching ideas, I decided to play with the idea of animals that are known as “familiars”. They are the animal companions of witches and wizards… cats, owls, etc.

Too Familiar Taking Form

I first started my sketch of “Too Familiar” animal as witch, as a cat. The cat just appeared a little too precious to me. So, I refined my idea as an owl. Owls hold mystery and the appearance of wisdom. They are also a symbol of truth which fits in nicely with one of the many interpretations of the title of my September show “Unmuted”… to speak up.

Anthropomorphic owl art doll sculpture. Needle felted wool, one-of-a-kind artist original
Too Familiar

Too Familiar is a barn owl who is busy simmering a potent looking brew of some sort. She holds the viewer in a direct gaze. The owl stands next to a clump of toadstools that look as though they may be part of her potion recipe.

The anthropomorphic art doll sculpture is needle felted wool over a frame of wire and quilt batting. She features glass beed eyes, and Swarovski crystal embellishments on her satchel. Her hat is needle felted wool over a synthetic felt base.

We Have to Wait

As I plan to have this piece in a show that opens at the end of September, you will have to wait a while to see Too Familiar in person, or for her to be available for purchase.

needle felted baby giraffe art doll sculpture before her bow and ID bracelet accessories

Sculpture Detours

I don’t know about all artists, but I prefer to get in a groove in the studio. I encounter periods where my sculpture seems to flow from one to the next, and though each is unique, there is a connection between them. With luck, these periods precede an upcoming featured artist show, and the result is a cohesive body of new and exciting work in the show.

There are also times where the work comes in from widely varying directions. The last few weeks have been one of these periods. In fact, I would go as far as saying that I didn’t have much of anything to do with the origin of my last few creations. I have instead worked on a couple of commissions, and made a couple of not-for-sale original versions of existing characters.

High Fashion Giraffe Offspring

My anthropomorphic giraffe sculpture from my last feature show, High Fashion, was purchased last year. The owner asked me to create an offspring to accompany her. The finished version sports a pink hair bow, and vintage beaded ID bracelet. The image here is a work-in-progress photo. She will be off to join mom her new home shortly. This commission was fun. It allowed me to revisit a piece I truly love (High Fashion is currently featured on my gallery bio-cards) but look at it in a different way.

needle felted baby giraffe before her bow and ID bracelet accessories
Baby Giraffe commission

This was not the case with another recent commission. One I almost declined. With the exception of my puffin and polar bear ornaments, I prefer to not recreate any of my designs. Though, I will revisit an idea or theme and take a new look at it, I prefer not to simply reproduce something I have already made. To me it lessens the original. I had someone contact me and ask if I make them a new version of a piece that had a red dot (sold) in the gallery. Try as I might with questions about different colors and numbers of items in the piece… The customer was undeterred, and wanted one exactly like the piece they were unavailable to purchase. I’m not exactly sure why, but I did create the piece. In the end it made someone happy, so I guess that’s a positive.

A Real Sculpture Departure

In a real departure for me, I spent a little time making a couple of anime characters. These two pieces were not to be sold, but rather helping out with a club project. Fans might recognize my versions as a needle felted Totoro, and a hand sewn stuffed Pikachu with needle felted embellishments. They were an enjoyable diversion and challenge, as I was going for a definitely handmade while still true to known character aesthetic.

Before anyone asks… Sorry, but no. This was a one time, and not for sale thing.

Back To The drawing Board

Now I guess it is time to take out the sketch book, and see were the next flow of work all take me. At least I hope so.

"Journey" anthropomorphic needle felted traveling sparrow sculpture

New Friend, New Year, New Show.

The New Friend

I’ll start with introducing you to the new friend.

"Journey" anthropomorphic needle felted traveling sparrow sculpture
Journey

“Journey” is my latest anthropomorphic needle felted creation. He is for HGA’s next show “Share The Love” which will open next Friday, January 8th at noon on the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts online shop. This first show of the year will benefit the local OCIM food pantry with 44% of sales proceeds going to the pantry.

Show card for "Share The Love" show at HGA Jan 2021

As you see, Journey is representing the show in the gallery’s promotional materials this month. This piece stands 5″x 7″x 5″. He is a little sparrow all set to fly off from his perch on an adventure. Sparrows are considered a symbol of hope. That seemed to me to be something we all are in need of as we embark on 2021. Journey is needle felted wool over a wire and quilt batting frame with glass bead eyes.

Journey and other new original works by HGA artists will be available in the Share the Love show next Friday. Check back here, I will update this post with direct links to the show page.

Holiday Cleanup and Other Friends

I just took some time to deactivate my needle felted puffin and polar bear ornaments from my Etsy page. The ones currently in the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts and the HGA online shop will go into storage next week. But many of their needle felted friends will remain in the gallery, on the gallery online shop, and on my Etsy Page. With all that occurred this past year, you may have missed a post or two of mine. So, I think over the next few weeks I may take some time to reintroduce some of last year’s work. “Hands Off The Carrot Cake” is a personal favorite of mine.

Hands Off The Carrot Cake - anthropomorphic needle-felted rabbit chief sculpture
Hands Off The Carrot Cake

I wrote about “Hands Off…” here in June, and he is currently available on my Etsy LWSculptedShop.

Winter Ride anthropomorphic needle felted art doll sculpture

Shop The Season Differently

The Turkey Soup is in the Freezer.

Now that Thanksgiving has past, the holiday gift season is in full swing. It certainly has been an interesting journey to this point this year. With much of the prep work for online sales needing to be completed ahead of time, it is almost a little anticlimactic. I do, however, find myself keeping an eye in several different directions at once. In the past, I only had to attend to my work at The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. Now, there are new tasks and more things to learn.

Winter Ride anthropomorphic needle felted art doll sculpture
Winter Ride

Winter Ride went to a new home over the weekend. So, in addition to packing it up at the gallery, it also needed to come off of my Etsy page. It is a strange experience when a piece like this sells, especially early in the season. I had this sculpture front and center on a pedestal in the first room of the gallery. This prime location obviously did its intended job. So, though I love that this one-of-a-kind piece will go somewhere it will be treasured, I’m just a little sad to see it leave.

A New Season

I also experienced my first Etsy shop sale over the weekend. Imagine my surprise when my phone suddenly made a “Ka-Ching” sound. This brought new things to learn, like Etsy’s built in customer communication, and updating the status of the order when shipped.

Since two items came off my LWSculptedShop Etsy store this weekend, I guess I should put something new up. I just completed another of my needle felted pins, so that might be a good place for it to find a sales home? This little relief sculpture measures 1.25″ x 3.5″ and has a hand-stitched rigid back and standard pin clasp. It features some curly wool from the sheep of another HGA artist, Susan Hope’s, farm.

Ram on Hill pin
Ram on Hill pin

I hope that you will take the time to see what the small local businesses and artists around you have to offer this holiday season. Many like our gallery have had to adjust the way they do business face-to-face, and/or establish online sales outlets for the first time. I can speak from personal experience that the learning curve on both has been steep for some. If you are lucky enough to have the ability to give gifts when so many are struggling it would be wonderful if some of those gifts came from local artisans and shop owners.

Feet on the Ground is an anthropomorphic reindeer wearing snowshoes art doll holiday sculpture

Holiday Sales Sites Up!

I suggested you to check back here for links to holiday sales sites. Your patience has been rewarded. The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts online holiday show, The Art of Giving, went live yesterday at noon! Here is the link to find the gift offerings from all of the HGA artists… https://hga-store.square.site/holiday-shop

Feet on the Ground is an anthropomorphic reindeer wearing snowshoes art doll holiday sculpture
Feet on the Ground

You’ll find Feet On The Ground under Holiday Items, my puffins and polar bears under Ornaments, and my felted brooches under Jewelry.

Take time to browse around the holiday show categories, there are plenty of unique gift ideas from all of my artist partners there.

And on Etsy

I also have ornaments, brooches, bags, and one-of-a-kind needle felted original sculptures available on my Etsy shop. They can be found at… https://www.etsy.com/shop/LWSculptedShop

In the Gallery

face of Moose Call, anthropomorphic moose art doll sculpture
Moose Call close up

If you are local, you can stop in to the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. Take in all of the amazing artwork there. Some of the items in the HGA online shop are available for pickup at the gallery after purchase.

Hope you had a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sculptures in Motion

I strive to capture movement in many of my sculptures. I’ve also managed to make a few of them move on their own. Or, at least they appear to be in motion.

I’ve recently written about the fact that transitioning work to online venues requires more than one or two good images. I’ve started providing multiple angle views, scale views, and images of work “in use.” Now, I’ve decided to have a bit of fun with stop motion animations. The hope is that using these videos on my social media can help capture a few more looks during the holidays. Having work that resembles characters from classic holiday specials helps in their creation. They are also just plain entertaining and fun, though they are rather time consuming to produce.

Puffin Pyramid

I’ll start here with the most recent. I just created this playful video of some of my puffin ornaments forming a pyramid. My puffin and polar bear ornaments will be available on my Etsy shop, the HGA online shop, and at HGA. I create them several at a time following my own original design. However, they are each truly an individual handcrafted item, all just a little bit different. This allows them to be a small, unique, and very gift-able piece of original art.

A Winter Ride in Motion

The first stop motion I produced a couple of weeks ago is a silent short for my piece titled Winter Ride. This anthropomorphic sculpture is already available on my Etsy shop, and may be on view in-person at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts soon. Winter Ride can be that future holiday heirloom, but I certainly hope whomever takes it home would want to display it year round.

Winter Ride in motion

The complete sculpture assemblage is 12 inches long, 6 inches high, and 4 inches deep. Momma bear is needle felted wool over a wire and quilt batting frame. Baby bear is needle felted wool over quilt batting form. The miniature sleigh and harness I constructed from wood craft sticks, copper coated flat wire, leather, metal brad fasteners, and jewelry findings. Both bears have hand stitched iridescent glass bead eyes.

Winter Ride anthropomorphic needle felted art doll sculpture
Winter Ride

I will be sharing both videos on various platforms over the next two months. I hope that you enjoy them, and take the time to follow the links to their sales pages.

Independent Art Doll Figures

An artist’s work quite often reflects what is happening in the world, and right now there is almost too much going on. I’m not sure one could successfully escape current events even if they wanted to. I’m also not sure one should try. So very much of consequence seems to be at stake. It seems no surprise that such things might be on my mind in the studio, and find their way into my art doll creations.

Mice Can Roar, My RBG Art Doll

The recent passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the rush to fill her seat are just two news items from the past few weeks. She was a model of intelligence and strength expressed with class and grace. Her rise to cultural icon status seems to be incongruous with her role as Justice, her age, and small stature. She seems truly a mouse that was able to roar. This is why I’ve titled this small anthropomorphic art doll sculpture Mice Can Roar. I didn’t want her to be derivative of other artists depictions of RBG, so I based her off of a recent piece of my own, Adventure Begins. I also wanted to stay away from the now all too common representations with a crown or holding a gavel.

Mice Can Roar

The sculpture stands about 7 inches high. She is needle felted wool over a quilt batting frame. Her shape and size allowed me to construct her without an internal wire armature. I used iridescent dark glass beads for her eyes, and her Dissent Collar I created by sewing glass beads to a felt base. Her eyeglasses are also needle felted without an internal structure. Mice Can Roar is now available in my Etsy Shop.

Placing Her Own Crown

Another recently completed, and quite independent art doll now found in my Etsy shop is Placing Her Own Crown. This frog princess isn’t waiting around for a coronation. She is placing her crown on her green head by herself. I like twisting fairytales around from time to time. Placing Her Own Crown doesn’t necessarily erase a prince from the story, but doesn’t make him a requirement either. While not inspired by a specific event in the news, Placing Her Own Crown does seem timely. I don’t suppose having a college age daughter has any influence on this fairytale reinterpretation.

Placing Her Own Crown

My frog princess is needle felted wool over a wire and quilt batting frame. She features large blue glass bead eyes and glass bead accents on her crown. “Placing” sits about 10 inches high on her wood block display base.