Posted by: gourmetfelted | July 2, 2013

Why do I create Needle Felted Dog Portraits?by Gerry of Gourmet Felted

casey fur 010

I was recently asked this question which got me to thinking about the real answer. Actually there are several reasons why I create Custom Pet Portraits. The first and foremost reason is…

I have always been drawn to them and as I child I would fearlessly go up to any dog and pet it. People even told me that their dogs were not friendly but they always were with me. As I got older I drew hundreds of pictures of dogs and never missed a dog show…local or televised!

Another reason is that I love to make people happy. I just finished this lovely dog named Casey and this is what her owner said when I sent the photos of her sculpture for her approval.

casey with pic 002

“When I first opened the email with the photos of my sculpture, I got tears in my eyes. This IS my Casey. The body proportions are perfect (which was difficult because she is part Beagle and part German Shepherd), the coloring is spot-on, and the details are astounding. The tail! The ears! Every time I look at the sculpture, I’m amazed at how well you captured my beloved pet. Casey is now 14 and was diagnosed with malignant melanoma recently, and her hips are failing. I’m preparing myself for the inevitable loss…and this sculpture embodies the real Casey–figuratively, in the way you captured her stance and smile, and literally, because some of Casey’s real fur was used in the sculpture. This is the second sculpture I’ve ordered from you, and I continue to be awed by your talent and artistry. Thank you for this, Gerry!”

casey 2 003

I was so happy that she loved her custom sculpture of Casey and it is something that she will always treasure! They are even able to pose to add to the fun! I hope that she will remember the happy times that she had with Casey whenever she sees the sculpture that I made for her. To me this is so satisfying and I am grateful that people love my work! I feel honored that they trust me to create their dog in miniature!! Needle felting is a great creative outlet for me and I always have a dog of sorts (felted) in my house even though no pets are allowed. I ship my dogs all over the world and they all have a piece of my heart! I pour many hours and much love into each one! I do get attached to them and some are hard to give up!!lol! It doesn’t matter what breed they are….I Love them ALL!!

deerhound sun 014



  1. WOW! You work is AMAZING!!!

    • Hi Nancy,
      Thank you very much for your kind words on my artwork! Enjoy your day!

  2. You are so inspiring! I just received a needle felted cat as a present and then I found your blog. I’d love to get into this hobby some day! Your works are lovely, and so happy looking and cute! Do you have any advice on how to care for these toys? I am worried my cuddling will wear out my new darling, as I love to touch him! Thank you for your help~

    • Hi Amber,
      Thank you for your kind words! That is a great question! I think that I will post it!

      Long coated fur SHOULD NOT be combed or brushed. It is better to use a large needle to gently "comb' the fur. Trim any strays instead of pulling out.

      As you may have guessed, keeping them behind glass is the beat way to protect them. Of course many people don't have that available.

      I have read to use a dampened cloth, blower duster, hair dryer, or tape.


      Don't ever use moisture with them. If you wet the wool then the dust will stick even more to them.
      A hairdryer could also blow the dust in deeper than it will blow off.
      Tape is a good way to raise a little bit of fuzz, so unless you want a fuzzy look on a formerly smooth coat, I'd avoid tape. It could also pull out fur!
      It also won't reach the dust settled down into the fibers because unlike mohair, which has a backing/base, there is no 'base' to needle felted items.

      A small vacuum is good to suck the dust off. Before you use it though, it is a good idea to make sure that everything is firmly attached to your sculpture. You can use a full sized vacuum, with a sock or hosiery over the wand head. Hold it on tightly with a rubber band. You can also slide open the side vent on the tube that some vacuums have for dusting drapes so there is less suction.

      If you handle your pieces a lot, be sure to wash your hands EVERY time before touching them. The oils in your hands won't be obvious, but over time will leave a film which will hold dust even firmer. So all in all, it is easier to keep them clean rather than trying to clean them later. Enjoy your new wool sculpture!

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