Winter White

Needle Felted Art Doll

I have been busy keeping up with my inventory of needle felted holiday ornaments the past few weeks, and neglected to share the newest art doll figure sculpture in my collection. Her name is “Eirlys” which is Welsh for “snow drop”. She is my first completely needle felted figure piece.

needle felted art doll "Eirlys", seated figure

Eirlys, has been on display in the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts since we hung the holiday show in November.

A New Face

Following the completion of my Aurora Dancing piece, and producing a few dozen animal ornaments you can imagine that I was beginning to make up my mind about working with needle felted wool. It was Eirlys, however, that had cemented my infatuation with the medium. As I have created more and more art doll sculptures I have worked to breath additional expression and personality into each little figure. I was pleased with the increased detail when I switched to paperclay from my original hammered copper faces a couple years ago. Likewise, I love the surface contour control and color mixing I was able to achieve with wool fibers. I love the wistful and magical look she has with the addition of her iridescent black glass bead eyes. I have not worked to have my art doll pieces possess overly natural looking eyes. Sometimes, I have to admit that I find dolls with overly realistic glass type eyes just a bit creepy. Besides, a frost faced snow fairy with blue hair, would just naturally have to have magic eyes that appear to glow from within.

So Put Together

Eirlys is constructed over a wire frame that has been “fleshed out” with quilt batting. Some elements, like large sections of her clothing are first needle felted off the doll. I created the large round portion of her coat/dress skirt, and her snowy wings in this manner, and then felted them in place on the doll. Likewise, for the scrolling blue pattern on her dress I formed the basic shapes and then felted them appliqué style so they could follow the contours of the sculpture’s form. Other parts such as her face were felted/sculpted in place

More to Come

As I alluded to earlier, I really enjoy the results I am achieving sculpting my art doll figures in wool. So much so, I have decided to create all of my pieces for this year’s feature show in April in this manner. I have already completed a piece or two, but you will have to wait a bit to see them. I have to get them ready for early copy deadline images for the show, but then keep most of them under wraps until the show opens. But, don’t worry, I’ll share some of what you can expect to see over the next few months.

Have a wonderful New Year!

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