Posted by: gourmetfelted | September 15, 2008

MY FIRST NEEDLE FELTED DOG by GOURMETFELTED

OK GUY’S, HERE’S MY FIRST FELTIE. I MADE THIS WHEN I STARTED FELTING  TWO YEARS AGO.

I always try to make an improvement on each sculpture that I make. This little pom was made with yarn that I pulled apart as I didn’t have any wool, but I had needles and by George, I WAS going to felt something! It’s very rough and sometimes I feel like fixing it up, but I think that it’s special as it is. It shows me that I’ve come a long way. I used plain plastic beads and no nose, just black wool. You’d be surprised the difference that glass eyes and a sculpted nose makes! When I am felting a dog or other animal, I mark the eyes with straight pins that have black balls on the ends. I mar k the nose with black wool. When I change them to glass eyes and a sculpted nose, a transfromation takes place with a huge improvement.

Anyway, I thought that you would be curious as to what my first feltie looked like!! I tried sticking wires into the legs after I made it so it would stand up on it’s own. LOL!! and no I’m not entering it in the contest!

pom-houdini-043 This is one of my recent poms. Notice a difference? Hey we all have to start somewhere right!


Responses

  1. Well, looking at your little sculpture there is no doubt it is a Pom. I think you are wise to resist changing it, and actually I think it is quite cute!

    So, just where do you get your eyes and sculpted noses? Most beads I’ve seen that small seem to be made of plastic, not glass. Do you make the noses yourself? When I was going through your flikr files of sculptures I saw how much your noses add to your pieces. Of course your talent makes you stand out from most of the other postings, too!

    • can you let me know is it harder to needle felt with lama hair .. i keep poking and poking but doesnt seem to form .. should i be using wool.. i found a lama lady down the street and she sells me the hair pretty cheap i know she felts alot but i dont think she is doing animals

      • Hi Brandy,
        Welcome to my blog! Llamas have two types of fiber…Soft down hair and thicker guard hair. The down felts very easily, but the guard hair is trickier. You would need a coarse #36 felting needle to felt it, but it is slippery. You could try laying the needle almost flat down and felt it pulling the fiber down. Some llama fiber is finer and there isn’t much difference in the down hair and guard hair. That would be easier to felt.

  2. Wow, even your first feltie is filled with charm and personality! Thank you for sharing this first pic because it does give me hope that I too can someday achieve REALLY spectacular felties. In addition to your amazing coloration of each critter, the poses you choose for each one amazes me. Thank you for your continuous and generous sharing of info and detailed photos.

  3. Thanks so much Enid! You are too generous! I do love poms and I tried to make it in that cute pose of theirs with their head tipped back. I do try to improve every sculpture that I make. Keep a good eye to DETAIL and you will be able to make lovey items! YOUR first attempts are also very, very successful and you should be proud!!HAPPY FELTING!!!

  4. so cute : ) thank you so mucho to share your pic ^_^

  5. Aw, that’s so cute! I love those little Poms. Yes, I think we’ll all look back and remember where we started and maybe be able to pass this art onto our kids and grandkids. How old do you think is a good time to begin? 10 or so? Thanks for sharing with us!

  6. I think that needle felting could be done at young ages if they are supervised and if you were to get one of those felting devices that has the clear plastic guard around the needle. That would be the safest way for kids. When I was helping the twin boys to learn they were off on their own and they were 12.

  7. Hello Gerry, I just received my pumpkin kit today and am most anxious to start it. But I was wondering if you have a tutorial on Poms & Bichons & Cairn Terriers & Chiauas? I would be most interested in them. I will leave feedback today on my shipment from you. Blessings, Dawn

  8. I haven’t made anymore tutorials yet! I haven’t had the time! It takes all day to take the photos, edit them, then post all the directions with the photos. I do hope that you have fun with your pumpkin kit! I may be a chihuahua sometime!HAPPY FELTING!

  9. I would love to learn how to needle felt. I saw the pictures of the Pom above and since they are my breed of dog, I would like to be able to make some. How do I get started??

  10. Hi Julie,
    Welcome to my blog! I love poms too and it was my first choice as a felting subject! I would recommend something easy like one of my felting kits. You can see it at
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/gfelted?section_id=5642801
    Thanks !
    ~Gerry

  11. Hmm . . . I don’t see the kit. Is it for making the dogs?? I’d love to get into this. I enjoy crafts. I did ceramics for many years when I was a kid and loved the detailed pieces the best. And I love miniatures. So I think this would be a great new hobby.

  12. Hi Julie,
    If you click below you can see it. It can easily be made into a dog instead of a sheep with furry fiber instead of the curly wool. The felting technique is still the same.

    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=39446691

    Needle felting is a great hobby. I fall in love with each of my sculptures. Many hours go into each one. It is like a miracle to see a cute animal emerge from a pile of fiber!

    ~Gerry

  13. Ok, great. Thanks for that link. I noticed you’re from Massachusetts? Me too! I’m up on the North Shore. I wish there were some classes for this near me.

  14. I just ordered the kit. Can’t wait to get started!!

  15. Thanks so much! I give free help so please ask me any questions that you may have! It is a terrific craft, but be careful of the sharp needles!

  16. I received my kit today! So exciting! I am going to wait until Wednesday when we get the snow storm to start it (hopefully if work is cancelled). I’m a little nervous so there will be a lot of questions coming. Thanks for shipping it so quickly!

  17. I have started my sheep. I got the wire body part right. Then I did a little felting on a piece of the green wool; made a little ball. Now I want to start the sheep. I printed out the tutorial but I’m a little confused when you say “wrap” the wool around the body. Am I supposed to be wrapping a piece around one section and then using the needle to secure it? How much of a piece? I am just starting out with this so I may be asking a lot of questions; some that may be stupid.

  18. Hi Julie,
    RULE NUMBER ONE:
    ALWAYS remember…there is no such thing as a stupid question. Every question answered can bring more knowledge and that’s a good thing. Maybe someone else has the same question, so you help them also by asking….so it is good to ask questions!!
    Yes, you take a piece of wool that is about 4 inches long by one inch wide and not too thick, and wrap it around the body snugly. Then you take the #36 coarse needle and secure it by felting ALL over the wool until it doesn’t move on the wire. It is best to add layers and felt it on and add another layer and felt it on rather than adding one huge blob layer. It is harder to felt it like that.

    After the back is done, you can do the legs. Take a piece of wool about 3 inches long and 1/3 inch wide than THINLY wrap the wire on the legs. Be sure that you curled the tips of the legs into little C’s so you don’t get poked by the wire. The biggest mistake with felted sculptures are the legs being WAY too thick. It is hard to get the legs thin enough, so don’t give up. ALWAYS know where the tip of the needle is. You can be concentrating on the wool so much and then OUCH!!! those needles are super sharp!!
    TIP: peroxide on a Qtip dabbed on the wool removes any blood!!
    Don’t give up. After a while, you get the feel of it and don’t poke your fingers. Some people use thimbles which I still use went doing the feet so I don’t get poked.
    PLEASE feel free to ask any questions! Thanks again for purchasing my needle felted sheep kit!
    HAPPY FELTING!
    ~Gerry

  19. How do you know how much to keep adding though? I measured out the size and added it. Doesn’t seem to be moving so I guess I did it right. How many layers should I add?

  20. I guess I figured it out. I finished it. It’s not perfect but it’s pretty good for a first time. You could look at it and know it’s a sheep. I am dying to try to do a Pom but I’d like to make it as detailed as possible.

    Do you ever have classes? I’m on the North Shore but I would gladly drive down to the Cape on a Saturday or Sunday to take a class if you ever decide to do that.

  21. The first dog that I made was a pom. I’d love to see your sheep! Can you send me a picture?
    gfelted@verizon.net
    ~Gerry

  22. They came out really blurry but I’ll send them to you anyway.

  23. ohhh i did my first dog lol it pretty cool. i was thinking of putting a picture on here to show you guys.. i made it of my dog i used that lama hair.. i think i need alot of practices alot alot .

  24. Hi Brandy,
    I would LOVE to see your first dog! Please send a picture to
    gfelted@verizon.net
    Did you get a coarse needle for your llama fiber?
    There are much easier fibers to start needle felting with. Please see the post on making the CORE.
    ~Gerry

  25. Hi All,
    I’ve been doing a lot of needle felting since starting with Gerry’s sheep kit. I am having a lot of fun. I bought the book, Wool Pets, and have made several rabbits and a few chicks for Easter. I added some feathers to my chicks and they came out really cute. Does anyone know how to make feet for chicks/birds out of wire? They have three toes which I’m not sure how to do except wire each one separately. Thanks!

  26. Two ways come to mind. You could use sculpy clay and shape them and cook them to set…or take a piece of wire that is long enough to go back and forth making each toe. I don’t know what size your chick is, but I would think that it would have to be about roughly 8 inches long. Then you can wrap the toes with embroidery thread in your chosen color. Lots of work, but cute in the end and then they can even perch on things, as their toes are bendable and can hold onto anything!
    HAPPY FELTING!
    ~Gerry

  27. Hi Gerry,

    Yesterday I made my first Pom, sort of a copy of one of my real Poms. He’s all black which makes it kind of hard to do facial details. How did you get the little open mouth on your parti Pom in the picture? Is it separately felted and added on? I’m still learning and not good at the facial details yet. I tried doing that straight line to distinguish a dog’s muzzle but he kind of looks like a pug now, lol. I’ll post pictures soon as I add the glass eyes.

    • I love felting poms! It is hard to work on black dogs . When I make a dog muzzle, I make it separate from the head and firmly felt it, except for the end that you will attach on the face. Then I attach the muzzle and take an exacto knife and slice it open!! It is scary, but that’s how I do it. Then you can add details to the mouth. Be sure that you felt the muzzle very firmly so you can work on it and not flatten it. Remember, if you don’t like how it turned out just cut the muzzle off and make a new one! That is the advantage of sculpting with wool. It is very forgiving and you can easily make corrections! I would love to see your pom.
      Happy felting!
      ~Gerry

  28. I will take some pictures. I have been busy felting this weekend. It’s so addictive. I know I only just started but I want to learn how to do fine detailing. Is there a book that teaches you or it just comes with experience? I live in Massachusetts on the North Shore and I wish you’d do a class some weekend. I would definitely come!

  29. I know what you mean about felting! it is like a miracle to be able to create adorable dogs and other animals from a pile of fluff! I never learned detailing from a book. The best advice is to really SEE what you are trying to make. Break it down into shapes.

    I have a hard time with the structure of cat faces so I drew them over and over to get the ideas of what they really look like. We have an idea in our head how something should look, but in reality it can be quite different! SEEing if the key to making details. I spent about an hour last night on detailing a sheep face that I’m working on.

    You need a lot of light for working on black. I use gray for detailing sometimes with black.

    Don’t be afraid to rip of the wool and start over if you don’t like it. You can use a fine felting #42 needle to make details if you are working on tiny items. I usually use #38 medium star on 4 to 5 inch sculptures.

    I don’t have time for a class at this point. Thanks for your kind words!

    Feel free to ask any questions anytime!
    Happy Felting!
    ~Gerry

  30. Just wanted to say, I made a couple of sheep, a cow, two pygmy goats, a rabbit and a chick and made a display for them. I entered them in our state fair and won third prize!
    Julie

    • Hi Julie, Welcome to my blog!
      I’d LOVE to see your felties! Your pom too. Just send pics to gfelted@verizon.net
      HAPPY FELTING!
      ~Gerry

  31. Hi,
    Can you tell me how to how to i trim the fur of a felted dog after he’s done?
    I quite don’t know ,how to cut my dogs fur after a added long fur.Is ther a book or a video,that shows,how to to it right?

    • How to trim fur. Good question! That would depend on the breed. You could pull it out straight from the side of the body for a layered look or just trim along the bottom. Think what they do at the beauty salon to cut hair. You snip little pieces bit by bit all over the body. It can take about 30 minutes to trim and groom a long coated 4 inch dog. Sometimes if you have felted in too much fur, then you have to pull some out as it is “over furred” Much patience is needed but the end result is worth it. Actually with some breeds it is easier to use the length of fur that you actually want from the beginning. Then you don’t have so much trimming to do at the end. When you fur a sculpture you are actually doing the whole dog twice so much time involved. Be sure to have sharp scissors for faster clipping. A scissor sharpener is worth the investment and can help you snip once instead of two or three times which can happen when the scissors are dull. I love grooming dogs real or felted. Take a large needle and “comb” as you go. Sometimes you have to add a bit where the fur is too thin.
      Happy felting!
      ~Gerry


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