Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day #53: Eeeek -- a mouse!

Ta-dah! Mouse! I went a little bit crazy with the whole shutterbug thing.

OK, you're thinking, "No biggie. It's a mouse."

Well, this mouse is a very special puppet for me, because it is the first totally "felted" puppet I've ever created. I've been working to "green" up my puppet building for a while. I have been building lots of soft sculpture puppets, which are created using a foam rubber base. The foam is covered with fabric, which is glued and carefully hand stitched. That's not how this was made. 

This puppet is made from pure wool -- most of it local wool from sheep raised in Virginia. There's a touch of Navajo-Churro (from Vermont) in it, too, and a dash of wool from Kentucky. I get a kick out of knowing from where each fiber comes. And I am super-psyched that I didn't use any foam rubber or any toxic adhesives in creating this puppet.

Felting involves taking wool fibers and turning them into a fabric. You can create 2-D forms and 3-D forms.
The mouse was wet-felted using a resist. The ears and tail were created separately and sewn on. The eyes are made using glass beads and the whiskers are waxed linen thread.

 I've used wire for some of the internal support, but the wool is very sturdy. I felted the snot out of it!

I like the fact that I can directly sculpt with the wool AND that I have more control over the color. So often, for other types of building, you are at the mercy of whatever types/colors of fabric are out there. Making them with wool gives me much more control over the color.

My daughter wants me to name him "Despereaux." Kids always want puppets to have names and get very upset when they don't have one!

I really need to add those screw eyes to the rod.

I'll post up info on the mechanism (puppet innards) tomorrow!

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