I felt that! How I create my wool portraits

Many (most) people comment "I've never seen anything like it! How on earth do you make them" when they see my wool portraits for the first time. I love the fact that my work is so unusual and somewhat a mystery but I am also more than happy to give a little insight into how I turn fluffy wool into art. The tools of my trade are brilliantly simple

       

  Flat Wool Felt                       Wool                       Barbed felting needles

First I will plot out my portrait onto the flat felt (exactly like sketching on paper) and that's when the fun begins! I take tiny tufts of wool and pierce it through the flat felt using my wonderfully sharp needles

      

I place the wool on the felt and repeatedly stab the wool through until it is compacted. On the reverse of the felt you can see the wool has been pushed through.

But how does the wool actually 'felt' or matt together you may ask ... well this is my not-so-secret weapon, the magic happens because the needles I use have barbs along them that catch the scales on the woolfibres - similar to how dreadlocks happen, it tangles together. I had one customer comment I am 'tattooing with wool' and I rather like that analogy! 

 

Then I start to add tiny details, sometimes using just two or three fibres at a time - this is how I can create lines or dots that people often think I have painted on! But it's all wool.

                     

Here's a little work in progress - I filmed the process live on Facebook, it can still be viewed here . I hope I've given you a good insight into how I work, I will be recording more videos of my work soon!

 

 

                              

 

 



 


1 comment

  • Really interesting Sarah, many thanks for sharing.
    2D felting is something I’m excited to try, this is a real valuable insight :)

    Jan Carter

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