Many years ago I discovered the art of needle felting. When you needle felt, you stab wool fiber repeatedly with a very sharp, barbed needle. The barbs of the needle felt the wool into shapes and thus you can sculpt it!
I love this medium because the wool is warm and organic in my hands and I find, it adds "life" to my animals all by itself.
I used to paint for a major animation studio where I spent many, many hours a day painting on a computer in a dark room. While it was a fun time, I now treasure sitting in my studio, in the light, working with my hands in a completely different way.
I do not strive to make my animals look 100% realistic (they are made of wool after all). By trying to capture the individual character of each animal, my sculptures appear realistic. Sometimes I get angry emails from people that are upset because they are convinced I am sending baby bunnies through the mail!
The detail was a lot of work! Needle felted over the wire. The eyes are hand painted. I spent 80 to 90 hours creating this.
#4 Baby Bunnies
Needle felted and life-size.
#5 Burrowing Owls
I was surprised that many people do not know about the happiest animal on earth! He is needle felted over the wire out of 100% wool, has glass eyes and a nose sculpted of wax.
#7 Whitetail Fawn
#9 Baby Bunny
#10 Albino Eastern Screech Owl
#11 American Kestrel
#12 Short-Tailed Weasel
#13 Ode To Winter
#14 Barn Owl
This owl is needle felted over the wire. I usually start with a wire skeleton. It gives my pieces durability (often they are quite large life-size or near life-size) and the skeleton provides me with a focal point of where I want to go with the sculpture. I mounted this needle felted sculpture of a barn owl so that she could be displayed on a wall. Some people describe my work as faux taxidermy...
#16 Three-Toed Pygmy Sloth
I loved working with the sand and little rocks. These meerkats are needle felted, have glass eyes and sculpted noses out of wax. The ground is made out of mixed materials.
#18 Giant Snail
#21 Baby Goat
It was amazing to work on this sculpture. I used a lot of lamb locks for the longer fur. I hand sculpted the horns and painted them as well as the hoofs. The nose is made of wax. He has glass eyes.
#23 Rhodesian Ridgeback
#24 White Bunny
#25 Squirrel Monkey
This little squirrel monkey is near life-size. Needle felted over the wire and, of course, with glass eyes. I personally love exhibits in natural museums and old world taxidermy. I know it is super controversial and I do not like trophy hunting one bit. But when I go to a natural history museum, I appreciate how the exhibits are a tool to teach people about nature around the world.