Felt Your Way to New Characters with Needle Felting.

needle felted jam, camera, matsrushyka and a needle charm

From lumps of fluffy wool to unique characters. Kit by Hamanaka.

This is needle felting mixed together with a photography, lomo-esque feel. Crafting and photography in a happy union!

As you may have noticed from my previous post, Dreaming of Imaginary Dragon Fish, I’m really interested in character creation. Fimo is a great option for 3-d shapes, but I’m not keen on baking it in my oven. It’s a poor example of the appliance, but it’s the only one I have. Since I live in Japan, I’m constantly surrounded by cute little things and that led me to needle felting.

People who are really good at needle felting can create incredible detail. Check out this example from feltedmice’s photostream at Flickr:
Needle Felted "Gumdrop" a 2-1/2" Baby Bunny By Barby Anderson / Helen Priem made the Owl
The bunny is by Barby Anderson and the owl by Helen Priem.

Incredible, right?

I jumped in with baby steps and started with a kit. The kit maker is a Japanese company called Hamanaka. The kit cost ¥700. Here is a link for the kit on Amazon Japan. This lomo-inspired kit leapt right off the shelf and into my shopping basket. My own felt camera? Oh yeah! The jam jars were cute and I loved the colors for the matryushka. The kit even called for making a spoon! The instructions were ok. They were written in Japanese so my comprehension wasn’t perfect, but the diagrams made up for it. It took me about thirty minutes to figure out the Japanese instructions. Each character took from one to two hours. Also, if you’ve been having a bad day, poking the needle into a bunch of wool is kind of therapeutic. Just be careful. The needle is very sharp and if you poke your finger, it will hurt.

I plan to develop some skill, then, someday, design my own characters.

The snowman at the back is my creation not from the kit. It’s not spectacular but it was good practice. The snowman is also practical as a sewing needle charm. By needle charm, I mean something like a pincushion, for sticking needles in while working on stuff. I also made a bunny head needle charm, but I gave it to a friend before photographing it.

I’m not sure if I’m ready to start making my own characters yet. There are still a lot of cute kits from Hamanaka. And there is something to be said for being able to follow instructions and end up with something that looks like the example.

If you have any favorite kits or favorite materials for character creation, please share!

Until next time, happy creating!

L.

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2 Responses to Felt Your Way to New Characters with Needle Felting.

  1. tarynwhipp says:

    I love these!!! I have tried a bit of needle felting but i found Wet Felting allot easier – http://rosiepink.typepad.co.uk/rosiepink/tutorial-wet-felt-making-for-beginners.html
    Good luck!!

    Like

  2. Lori Ono says:

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    I LOVE that link for
    http://rosiepink.typepad.co.uk/rosiepink/tutorial-wet-felt-making-for-beginners.html

    They are truly fiber artists aren’t they? I think I will spend a lot of time looking at that site.

    I love how other people’s wet-felting looks. I sort of tried it but wasn’t happy with my result. I know it takes practice but my small house and wet felting don’t like to hang out together. 😉

    I noticed you have a lot of interesting items on your blog, too!

    Like

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