VIDEO | Mieke Werners' Felt Technique

It's been awhile since I've posted something. We've been sick a lot this past Winter. But Spring has finally arrived and the birds are singing. It's still cold outside, but the leaves are showing and the blossoms are about to pop.

Today I bumped into a video on my Facebook Timeline about the felting techniques of Dutch artist Mieke Werners. I love watching other artists at work and learning from them. This video is just a short one (I wish I could watch her work for a whole day!) but gives a good impression of the technique and material that I also work with.



Needle felting for market

Early August we came back from our vacation in France. Having been away for three weeks from my studio, I was very eager to get back to 'work.' 
Together with my friend Marieke from Woolwoofles, I was planning to sign up for a couple of markets to see if anyone would be interested in buying our work. So far I hadn't finished  a whole lot of dolls and wasn't sure I wanted to part with the ones I had, so I decided to start a whole new series of dolls that wouldn't take me too much time to make. Ha! I was wrong. These babies also wanted a lot of attention! But they were fun to make.
The technique I used here is called needle felting.  You basically stab wool with a very sharp barbed needle until the wool clings together. The more you work it the firmer it gets. 
For the dresses I used scraps of fabric that I have collected over the years. Embellishments are made with (vintage) lace, ribbons and buttons.
Unfortunately the market turned out to be a bit of a disappointment as nobody wanted to buy one of my girls. So I took them home and now they're happily sitting on their shelf again, watching over me as I type this blog post.

Creating Marie

On my to-do-list today I wrote: 
- baking almond cookies (I didn't)
- moving the couch (I did)
- dusting (I didn't)
- vacuum cleaning (I did)
- writing (I didn't, until now when I should be cooking dinner for my starving children)
- researching website building (I did)
- washing the windows (I didn't, but my husband did - sort of)

I should compliment myself that I got half of the things done that I set out to do today. I could have easily gotten all seven of my chores done, since there was no doll making in the planning. 

However here is the evidence of what I spent most of my day doing. 

 Who is this new creature? An angel or a dancer?

Male or female?

As soon as I give them eyes, their soul appears.

Ah, Marie it is.

Giving her a bit more lips.

This is the moment when I have to stop touching her face.

Even though it's not quite done, I will leave her like this while I continue working on her body.

Introducing: wool sculptor Irina Andreeva

While browsing for felt creatures on Pinterest, I bumped into the amazingly talented Irina Andreeva. She is a Russian artist who makes unique woolen sculptures of mostly little girls and cats. She uses natural colors, lots of greys, that contribute to the pure and somewhat melancholy emotions of her creatures. 

Unfortunately all her social media are in Russian, so I can't tell you more about her than you can see for yourself when you browse through her photos.

I am not sure about her technique. She must be starting the sculptures by dry felting them. But there are some pictures online where she soaps the surface and rinces with water. It would explain the smooth surface.

I am curious to see if she uses wire to support the structure. As you can see in one of the photo's, the dolls are quite big.

It is an absolute inspiration for me to look at these pictures and I only feel more compelled to keep working on my own dolls.

Copyright Irina Andreeva