Needle Felting a Dachshund

The armature

About six months ago a friend gave me a link to an interesting site. It was an animal rescue group that made small sculptures of dogs which someone could buy and support the dog it was crafted after.

Those small sculptures amazed me. How did they do it? They had a fur like quality to them but where not sewn. Over the coming months I searched online and found what the technique is called, needle felting.

Like most things you might research on the web, there are some very good videos out there on this subject. An especially helpful site I found Sarafina Fiber Art, explained in detail how three projects were constructed. Another site that is more craft related but has some good info on explaining the process is LivingFelt.com.

I gathered up my supplies, and was ready to start a project. Since I have a dachshund, thought I would use one as a model, although mine in red.

black dachshund for my needle felting projectphoto by Ellen Levy Finch

The first step is building a wire armature. I am using a heavy gauge wrapped wire (floral wire). The coating on the wire grabs onto the felt fibers better than a plain metal wire would. Some twisting, (a pair of wire pliers is helpful), cutting and wrapping and this is what I have -armature for wool sculpture

In the distance you can see a good side view of a dachshund which I laid a piece of acetate on and drew the simple lines of my armature. This gives me a general idea of where and how I need to fill things out.

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