Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Anatomy of a Needle felted Squirrel

Everyone needs a skeleton, unless you're a worm.
This squirrels skeleton is formed with wire and the toes are formed with cloth coated florist wire.

Next, the toes are wrapped with wool. I used my Sophia's wool, because it still has a good deal of lanolin in it, and wraps so nicely.
 Nevertheless, making toes is a pain in the behind.
 Next come pipe cleaners to wrap all the wire and help the wool adhere better when it comes time to add it.
 

The form requires a large amount of wool, wrapping and poking with your needle and wrapping and poking some more.



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 This white wool won't show, it is the core wool, used to built up the body structure.

 When the form is as you wish it to be, you can begin to add your "fur". This is the wool that will show on the outside and I have used Sophia's wool once again for this, along with some purchased wool of a Merino grade. A lovely light grey color.
  The cool thing about building on an armature like this, is that your creature is completely pose-able.

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If you didn't know any better, you may think you were looking in a taxidermy shop at a splayed squirrel.
Yikes!
After fleshing out the creature to some degree, I have added her head. I make the heads separately and then attach them to the wire neck with stitching.
 She is still much to skinny.. So I continue to add more wool.
 It took a while to fatten her up... and a lot of wool! James thinks she is still too thin, like a rat, but in observing the squirrels in our Hollow, they are not chubby, but slender and fit.


 I needed to replace my 2 gossiping squirrels that I sold at the Doll show a few weeks ago. That is why I made Dinah. Normally, I combine stitching with Mohair and  needle-felting to make my Hopalong Hollowfolk, but Dinah is different, as you can see.
  In my next post, Dinah will awe you with her oratory....

23 comments:

  1. Wow! Your Hoppy Folk are amazing. Fun to see the process.

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    1. It's good to know what goes into the making of a critter, and it gives you some idea of why these can be quite pricey.

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  2. Love seeing your process, Jeri. I've looked a tutorials similar to this, but Dinah has charm like only you create. ♥

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    1. Martha, I think once you make this armature, you can adjust it to work for most any animal. I do try to capture a personality when I make a face,it just works out sometimes.

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  3. I love Dinah. Do you think you could make a Norway rat since I don't have enough? ;) I have to make armatures for my paper art and I just have to wing it, but there is no way getting around it. Great that it is posable.

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    1. Dinah did look just like a rat... until I fattened her up a bit. I think the armature would be identical as they are both rodents. Glad to say I don't have ANY NOrway rats... yikes!

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  4. Thank you, Jeri. It's nice to see the process. After a while, it does look like a real creature. She's beautiful.

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    1. At first, it is rather freaky looking like a splayed squirrel or a monsterous beast from a Grimms Fairy Tale. I'm glad they eventually take a finer form.

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  5. Teeeheee...Dinah is DINAH-MITE! What a glorious tour of how these critters are made, Jeri. You and Penny both as you know, blow my mind with your skills and powers to create such realistic animals. If I could, I'd have them all!

    OK, I can't wait to take my late-summer seat in the park and hear the oratory oracle by Miss Dinah. She looks ready for some action!

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    1. Her Oratory is not on a par with your poetry... but she has a lot to say!

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  6. A lot of work and love go into each of your critters. They are all adorable. It is really neat to see Dinah from start to finish.

    Happy Creating dear Jeri ~ Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

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    1. I tend to love the squirrels best, but most purchases are for my rabbits... I don't know why... do squirrels get a bad rap?

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  7. Well, who knew toes would be so difficult! A wonderful post and so interesting to see how your creatures come together. With the needle felting can you pull out the wool once it's been added------like if you made Dinah's behind a little too abundant could you resculpt it to make her a bit more svelte? Or is it the opposite of cutting hair----you can take it off but not put it back on?

    I can't wait to find out what the new added attraction for these creatures turns out to be.

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    1. Well, you can't really pull the wool out, but you can keep needle felting it down down down. So if her bottom was too large, I would just keep felting the existing wool until it got denser and smaller.

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  8. Your creations are truly works of art!

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    1. Cathy, I hope they are... I try to do my best.

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  9. What a fabulous world you have at the Hollow! I loved this little lesson, and Dinah is gorgeous.

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    1. YOu ought to give it a go... I bet you'd be a wonderful needlefelter. I can imagine you making big amusing crows!

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  10. Oh Jeri, Dinah is simply wonderful! I know what you mean about the toes! You are so right, they are a pain in the behind. However, your workmanship here is shows how expert you are. Great work, my friend. I love her bonnet also!

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    1. I noticed, Penny, that wrapping the toes with more oily wool, really made it simpler. I think I will save all of Sophia wool JUST for wrapping.

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  11. Ah Jeri it was so fun to see Dinah come together. I love that you kept her slim and fit. After all there shouldn't be too many calories in what she eats...have a great day. Hugs!

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    1. Not to mention all the burnt calories in tree climbing!

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