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.
Needle felted and life-size.
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.
Albino Eastern Screech Owl
Ode To Winter
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...
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.
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.
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.