Once in a while it’s nice to look back and acknowledge your past creations – if for nothing, at least to remember all the work and love that went into what you made, and how far you’ve come.
I chose some needle felted sculptures more or less at random, them appearing here being conditional to how decent the photography was. (Another positive thing about looking back: noticing how much better your photos have gotten!)
So here they are, with a brief backstory:
My first successful sculpture. I bough a DIY kit and went to town, eventually feeling confident enough to actually make a few changes to the instructions . I had tried making a wet felted rabbit before, that was left unfinished and then eaten by moths (RIP bunny). This was my second ever bear, the first having been left unfinished until I tackled this one and felt confident to go back.
This dinosaur came to me in a dream. I wanted to make something stripy and colourful and this is what my brain imagined when I was asleep. His body is super hard, as I was yet to master what was for me the right sculpture consistency. This little guy now lives in Portugal and was one of my first sales to my country of origin – he’s the mascot for a domestic biscuit and cake brand!
The Gentleman Rabbit. I was re-learning crochet and made the tall hat following some instructions, and then decided it needed a rabbit to go with it – talk about buying the button before making the suit.
I was approached by a U.S. dog charity looking for items to auction, and I decided to give him away. I really regret my decision, as I didn’t look up the other auction items carefully (how many and quality), so this guy ended up being sold for pennies because he got lost in the sea of items the charity was showing on their Facebook page. Well, lesson learned – now I do my research first, and have taught myself to say no when I feel my wares don’t have a good “help the cause/personal loss” ratio.
Simon the Circus Monkey! This was one of my best creative moments ever, because there was no pressure and I had the freedom to come up with whatever I wanted. It also helped me realise I could make other animals besides bunnies and bears if I put my heart into it, which was important for my self-perception as a fibre artist.
Simon was my very first Etsy sale, and I can still recall going to the Post Office to send him, and feeling like my feet weren’t touching the floor. What a great high! (Thanks for giving him a home, Hazel.)
Can you tell I like bears? I was commissioned this girl by someone who had a pregnant sister, and was expecting a daughter. The person who asked me for her was someone I knew personally, so it was a bitter surprise when she stopped replying to me when I asked for payment. This was also a great learning curve, because this is when I decided to start charging for my work before I even pick up a felting needle.
Her name is Ms Sugar Bear and in my mind she’s from the Southern states of the U.S. – I can just about hear her asking a guest if they want some sweet tea. Another funny thing about her: she’d been in my Etsy shop for a while, and I put her up for sale in a Christmas market night on another crafter’s page. She got sold in the page, which made me very happy, and literally at the same minute she sold on Etsy, too. I didn’t have two of them, so I panicked and felt very unprofessional for forgetting to take the Etsy listing down! Having to apologise to the buyer was heart wrenching, but I did it, along with offering a solution – I made a new bear for the Etsy customer, who didn’t mind waiting a little for her twin to be born. Crisis averted (and another lesson learnt.)
This albino chimp was a fun variation to my Simon the Circus Monkey. He was a sort of Valentine’s creation, and was meant for a swap with another artist friend, who sadly never sent me her creation, or gave me any feedback on him (she also stopped being a friend afterwards for other reasons, so there you go, real life happening right here.)
Freaky fact: as I write this, the TV is on and I just heard someone say the first name of the girl who got him.
My very first pug! Meet Boo, a girl I absolutely loved making. I was learning as I went, and it was just one of those cases where everything just fell into place perfectly and on a first go. This photo makes me smile, she looks so real.
Another interesting challenge, creating a 3D sculpture from a drawing, and belonging to someone else’s imagination. I really loved how this Piglet came out and ended up making a another similar one for a friend the same year. I also made a Winnie the Pooh for the same customer, and we became Facebook friends, too. Win-win!
I love the silly faces of sloths (and how differently the word is pronounced in the U.S. and the UK.) I’d been making a series of “miniature taxidermy” wall mounted animals and I decided a sloth would be a really fun thing. The claws took me forever and I was feeling really frustrated with his face in the beginning, because to be honest, he looked like Chewbacca from Star Wars, and for the life of me I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong. Enter Better Half and his wisdom: he looked at this guy, squashed the top of his face and voilá, sloth! Sal, the Sloth.
So there you have it, some of my past creations and their backgrounds. Do you think I should write more of this sort of post in the future? Let me know in the comments section. Thanks for reading!