Posted by: gourmetfelted | October 8, 2011

Your Needle Felting Questions Answered~Adding Eyes and Noses~by GERRY of Gourmet Felted

Gerry do you add your eyes and nose before you add the hair and fill in around them, or is that the very last step? I have to tell you your site is better than any book. Thanks again.

By: Linda Gallipo on October 8, 2011
at 1:57 pm

Reply

Hi Linda,
Actually I do both! But adding the eyes and nose are one of the last things that I do on a sculpture. Until then I mark the eye position with straight pins with black balls on the ends. (See post on eyes) Be careful not to get glue on the eye as it takes away the shine.

It also depends on the breed. You can put all the fur in around the eye, but it is hard to get the eye in without messing up the fur. So I usually add more after the eye is in to touch it up. With a dog with fur hanging over the eyes, I would add the fur after so it would be easier to work on the eyes. Be careful not to get glue all around the eye or you won’t be able to felt any fur close to the eye as it will be rock hard!lol! Learned that the hard way! Be sure to make a hole for a socket. There aren’t many breed with eyes that pop out!

With noses it is hard to add fur after due to glue, so I try to put the fur on and make a indentation for the nose. Then just glue it in. (see post on making noses)

Thank you for your kind words on my blog! When I started needle felting years ago, there wasn’t much help around. It was hard to even find wool for felting or even a book on it!! So I struggled a lot and had to learn things the hard way.  I made this blog so people could have more fun needle felting! I guess it is a pay it forward kind of thing!

Hope that helps! Thanks for your question!
Happy Felting!
~Gerry

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Responses

  1. Very good information! I have been collecting my dog’s fur for a year in a ziplock bag (for the outer layer) and am finally at the point at which I can get started on the sculpure! I want to share a good source I just found on Etsy for realistic eyes that I had not been able to find before. Last year when looking for eyes I was really not excited about using the ones commercially available. I wanted to make sure when I did get started that I would do this beautiful dog justice. She has the most rich yellowish brown eyes, and when I did another search last night I found a seller on Etsy who custom casts highly realistic eyes in resin. She does it in layers so that they have more depth than the ones you normally see in the small sizes needed for these little dog sculptures. Her prices are very reasonable also!

    This is the link to her store; http://www.etsy.com/shop/dreamingtreestudio

    I am ordering a pair of eyes from her for my sweet Carmella’s sculpture and am really looking forward to working with them. The ones I’m getting made are going to be semi-metallic, so I think they will capture the luminosity of her real eyes very well.

    I haven’t addressed the nose yet but have written the seller to ask if she also sells noses. If anyon has any resources for realistic noses I would be very interested in looking into it. Carmella’s nose is chocolate and it gets kind of gradient pinkish reddish at the point at which it joins the muzzle.

    I love reading this blog, and recently saw the Samoyed you made, Jerry! Just gorgeous and so realistic!

    • Thank you for your kind words on my Samoyed and for the link to the hand made eyes! I see that she also is booked up until next year!! As to noses….have you considered making your own? You can make them any color that you wish by blending the clay together before you bake it. *See my Making Nose Tutorial!
      ~Gerry

      • I just checked dreamingtree’s shop again and it says she’s booked on custom orders, but she still has the standard eye colors for dogs as regular stock items and is still selling those now.

        Unless a dog has an unusual color eyes those will work in most cases and are very realistic!

      • I cant find my way around…how do you post pics for instance??
        And where do i find pics of posted sculptures? Im no good with internet,forums and blogs…never used it before. I (think) i made up a blog this morning but now dont know what to do with it,hahahaha, yes i may laugh at me cause it is ridiculous. But i sure could use some help please.?I now click W for worldpress and hope it gets there…???

      • There is lots of help on wordpress . You can click on help. Here is what I found to get started.
        http://en.support.wordpress.com/getting-started/

  2. Approx how long does it take you to make a small dog from start to finish? You make these look so realistic.

    • Hi Linda,
      Many, many hours and much love go into each sculpture. It takes about 2 hours to felt the base sculpture which also has a wire armature inside that I make first. The I apply the fur which involves, patterns, blending, layering, etc depending on the look that I am trying for. That takes a few hours. Then it all has to be carefully groomed which can take up to 30 minutes. On top of that I also do research into whatever breed I am creating so I have the body proportions correct. I have a file on each breed that I have sculpted for reference. So all in all, it can take about 20 hours (give or take depending on the size and breed). It is a labor of love, but I think that it is very rewarding to see a cute face looking out from a pile of fluffy wool! They all have a piece of my heart! Thanks for asking!
      ~Gerry

  3. This is exactly what i have been looking for. I have a 13 year old Maine Coon cat that is in very poor health. I have collected a bunch of his fur in order to make what you guys are making. I don’t have the first clue of how to do this or what supplies i need or where to start for that matter. Please help.

  4. Hi Gerry,
    Do i need to register to find your tuts and tips?
    Marion

    • Hi Marion,
      Welcome to my blog! Yes you just sign in with your email and click FOLLOW at the top left of the page next to Gourmetfelted’s Weblog. Click the little circle right before Follow. You can also check off be notified by email when I post. That is right after the comments on any post. Thanks for asking!
      ~Gerry

  5. Hi,

    I cant find romney anywhere in the netherlands, does anyone know where i could buy that please?

    • Hi Marion,
      Any coarse wool is great to make the core of a sculpture. If you want to tyr romney that is what my core wool is. Please see it in my needle felting wool section. I have white listed but I do have other colors also.
      http://www.etsy.com/shop/GourmetFelted
      Happy Felting!!
      ~Gerry

      • Thanks Gerry, so gotlandwool or merino bat is ok as well? Buying it in europe is probably cheaper….i wish i could make sculptures like yours, can you hear me sigh hahaha?
        Im trying my luck on my poodle at the moment. Without locks as i dont have any in his color and i find applying locks nicely very difficult. It always looks messy somehow. Hahaha, as if i have done much with locks or any other wool for that matter. I only made a few things and they are not as nice as i would have liked.
        But than- you must be needlefelting a bit longer than i am and ofcourse i may not be as gifted as you are. But i like it and thats what counts…

      • Gotland is a nice coarse wool but it is a little slippery. Merino is much too fine to make a core. Of course there are some people who only use merino. I prefer to use a coarse wool as it felts up faster and creates a stronger base for felting fur into. I do use merino as a top coats for smooth coated dogs and animals like horses. What color is the poodle that you are trying to make? What kind of cut does it have?
        ~Gerry

  6. I use glasseyes with a loop to sew on. I tried making a hole and fasten them with a few stitches but they keep sticking out. I tried pulling them in the holes and make a knot, they disappear almost in the head then but after a while they pop out again and dont stay in the holes but on top of the surface, it just doesnt look good.
    What am i doing wrong? Glueing is a bit difficult,as my hands are not very steady and i get the glue mostly everywhere except where it should be….

    • I rarely use those kind of eyes. You have two options:
      I would cut the loop off and just glue them on OR you could take an exacto blade and slice a slit in the wool. Add glue to the loop and stick in in the cut wool. I also use Krazy glue to glue the eyes and noses. It had a little brush in the cap. You just remove the cap and slide the brush on the lip of the container to take the extra off. Apply to the eye and glue quickly. It dries almost instantly, so you have to put it right in the slit after it is glued. If you put it on the wool it soaks right in and you have to put it on a few times to get the wool wet enough to adhere to anything. I hope this helps!!

  7. My Charly is blond or light apricotcolored, i wish i knew how to send you a pic of him. Or to show my first sculptures,hahahaha, they look terrible but i like felting better than any other thing ive tried in the past, so i will go on trying!

    Did i ask my question about the outsticking eyes in the wrong place Gerry?
    I am still trying to find my way around on your blog, never was on a blog before. Stupid question, what are tags and where do i find them? Is that what is written in red on the page below the comments?
    A forum is somehow different, i was on 2 before about polymer clay and painting and it took some time to get my head around that,but in the end i got my head around it. Everything always in a language thats not my native language and im trying to figure out the computer and everything about it all by myself,no help with anything….never thought i would go computing in my old age so…..please have patience with me?!

    • Hi Marion,
      I would love to see Charlie! You can send me a picture to gfelted@verizon.net
      I am making a post on eyes to answer your question. Tags link a subject to an article. If you put needle felted eyes in the search box on wordpress these tags would connect you to articles on that. Hope that helps!
      Happy Felting!
      ~Gerry

  8. Hi Gerry,

    Thanks for your help!
    Btw, i did send you a pic some time ago, hoping you could see which color he is and if you have curly wool that matches….but it seems you never got it.
    I will try again.
    Although i have tried my best to find how this blogthing works for hours and hours, im just too stupid to understand.I have created a blog-which i dont want really as i have nothing to tell, hoping that would help. But the only thing i can do is send myself messages,hahahaha,so thats no good.I see a searchbox on my blog but not on yours…..
    Have a nice sunday,
    Marion

    • Sorry but I don’t have that color for sale in curls.

      • oh, you got the pics after all than.Pity you didnt comment on my little monsters and if they would be an embarresment to send a friend as a gift…

      • I think that the pug in the right in the pic was cute. That would be a nice gift. Be sure to trim the stray hairs. The other pug has very uneven eyes.

  9. well, i managed adding a gravatar….thats something,hahahaa

    • cute! Great job!

  10. uhmmm, just sent a message and it disappeared, guess i should have clicked follow after sending it? Anyway,i said i sent a pic again hoping you got it this time? And what do you think of my felted avatar parrot?

    • You can’t upload pics to my blog. Please send to me directly!
      gfelted@verizon.net

  11. yet again, forgot to ask:
    Do needles get less sharp after using them for some time? I only broke 1 needle up till now but it seems the needles arent felting as well as before…

    • Great question! Yes felting needles do get dull with use. There is no formula as to WHEN to replace. It all depends on the wool that you use, your felting style, and the hours used! I love these needles best! They have a soft handle so they don’t dig into your fingers. She even has DOUBLE needles that are the fastest!! They are worth the money and last and last!!
      http://www.needlefeltingsupplies.com/Super-Duper-Felting-Needles_c_30.html

      Happy Felting!
      ~Gerry

  12. Thanks Gerry, i do use these Kay Petal needles and they are great. It must be me than, i use the white stuff they use for packing electrical appliances,thats the easiest for me. Tried softer stuff like foam in several firmnesses and bought a brush as well….but no…..i thought it may be this that causes it.
    I did send the pics to gfelted@verizon.net by the way….

  13. Great Link for the glass eyes, I like those..they are much more natural..but I see she is booked up..Hmm…maybe it is time to pull the kiln out and make glass eyes..Have you tried making your own eyes Gerry? I love your wee little noses..I am looking forward to making my own noses, antlers, hooves, tongues..etc. I will either use an epoxy probably two part..which is the most durable..but paperclay is definitely an interesting alternative! I see you use filo..have you ever done Filo antlers..i was wondering about the weight distrubution..
    cheers
    Sloane

    • Hi Sloane,
      I have no time to make my own eyes. I have found some gorgeous detailed cat eyes but they are much too large for the most commonly made felted sculptures. I use Fimo or Sculpy. I would imagine that if you used it for antlers that you would have to insert some weights in the back of the sculpture so it isn’t front heavy. Please let me know how it works out! Happy Felting!
      ~Gerry

  14. Hi, I am a big fan of your work. Your work is fantastic and so life like. I am at a loss of words when it comes to your adorable animals and how amazing they are. May I ask how you make the dog fur long? How does it stay?

    • All of the fur is felted into a firmly felted core base body. I use coarse wool rather than merino as it is much faster and holds together tightly. You have to felt in tiny pinches of fur all over the dog. You can felt the middle of the little bundle or felt in one end. Work from the bottom up and over lay each layer a little. I do trim as I go and usually spend about 30 minutes after the fur is felted in to groom and shape according to breed. It takes lots of time to fur any animal. Thanks for your question! Happy felting!
      ~Gerry


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