Mer Hands and Armature Study Group

Mer Hands and Armature Study Group

This past week in Ottawa was cold, with a few days that were not overcast and gloomy. We even had a little snowstorm and lost power for a few hours.  Since I couldn’t work on the computer and the lighting was off for colour work I tried to wash the dishes, no hot water…. Ok, how about cleaning up the dust bunny I spotted in the dining room the vacuum is right there… oh….. I will get the broom… Well, it was not all bad, I didn’t have to vacuum and Glenn brought home Fish and Chips as a treat for dinner!

 1 Ice on the window to inspire you!

So when the sun came back I made the most of the good light and blended some yellow-ish skin tones for Mr. Mer. I was focusing on his hands and building up his forearms (lots of arm curls and extensions to build up the biceps/Triceps now wrist curls to build up the extensors/flexors in the forearm) I suspect he would just like me to add a bit more fibre to him so he can skip the exercising!

 2 Mr. Mer, Miss Mer and Mrs. Mer.

It has been a while since you saw the understructure for Mr. Mer but the armature for the hands is floral wire doubled over and twisted. The rest of the body is 12 gauge aluminum. The armature was then wrapped in part of an alpaca bat I had used with all the Mer’s.


The top layer is blends of Corriedale in cream, yellows, greens, blush and browns aiming to be similar to the underside of a northern pike with a suggestion of skin tone. I want to layer over a few more tones but I think he is heading in the correct direction.

 9 its hard to see with the wet window but there are gusts of snow on the other side of the glass

Today has been bleak and snowy, but not as cold! So I finished off my notes for the study group on armature wire. I have the outline written. It took a while to try to source locally some of the wire gauges we will be investigating. I also made a list of some of the online options. I wound up with five pages for the outline and shopping notes! I got them off to the registrar so she can send them out as registrations come in. The OVWSG study group web page is now live! The first few fellow studiers have signed up! I hope the rest of my wire orders come in soon!! We are starting 23 February 2021 running weekly on Wednesday (Zoom meeting 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm Local Ottawa time) until 17 March 2021. Because we are Zooming we can be accessible to more people. Please take a peek if you would like!

 10 Mr. Mer is demonstrating how well his new fingers work by holding the first wire order that has arrived. (Approximately 10 gauge Aluminum.)

 11 This is an assortment of wire collected locally in Ottawa at; Dallerama, Home Depot, Walmart. I also found some 12 gauge aluminum wire at McBead Creations but it’s not in the picture! (the 11 gauge steel is what I used in the Quadra-dents and is too stiff for most armatures. But does make excellent weapons!)

I hope this will inspire others to try study groups as a way of learning remotely while we are still stuck at home. At least the commute to work is quick for some of us? And hopefully, the rest of us are having fun felting!!

12 Mr. Mer shows off his fingers

13 thoughts on “Mer Hands and Armature Study Group

  1. Unfortunately your picture No 3 seems to have disappeared. Hopefully that will be sorted soon as I love your pictures of Mr Mer.
    Your photo of the frosty window really brings back memories. I would spend ages (until I got too cold) just sitting and staring at the frost pictures covering the whole of the inside of our window panes when I was a child. All sorts of images seemed to be there – one source of inspiration not much seen over here these days.

    1. Hi Ann! i had set up a slide show of Hand shots but the seems to be some disagreement about showing you more than one set of hands! i have switched to a difernt vew from slide show and i think thay are now all there.
      there is only a tiny border of frost on my office window now and i see blue sky!!! i love the lines with fethering that sometimes happen! i think there may be spiderwebs i didnt see last fall helping them along. this morning looks like a northern cost line with lots of feords.
      i am hopeing to get the car to start and do a quick trip to princess auto (they have blackmith tongs on sail for some reson, dosnt one always need more blacksmith tongs?) then on to Grocerys! if the blue sky stays on to more colour blending for Mr Mer!

  2. He’s so good at holding stuff. His hands are perfect!

    I think if I had a go the fingers would look like fat sausages:)

    Winter lockdown isn’t as easy as summer lockdown – when you can sit in the garden it’s not so bad being stuck at home.

    1. Thanks, He is very helpfull! i think he is avoiding having to become a fisherman and swimming in a cold (presently frozen) wet lake!

      fingers can look like sausages! just keep pokeing at them (length wise, then cross wise) they will thin out and ferm up! but it can take a lot of pokeing! i switched back to a star (i think it was the 38 or 40) and it went quicker. dont rush fingers its better to poke slowly and carefull, dont bust a needle on the armature, put on an audio book or maybe a second one after the first is finished as you work. i am shure you will get it!

      yes i like summer lock down better too! my outside studio spot is filled with showshoves and a box of fleece is stiing on my bench (under a tarp)! its not as inviting to work out side at the moment! im not sure if i could hold felting needles with big mitts on!! hummm i wonder… no just too cold! i could just finish cleeing up the living room and take over that? i dont even have lambs in mine (Ann McElroy is so lucky with her living room decore!!!)

      i hope you try a hand or two and maybe attach a body to it! and there are rumers spring may come back!!! Do not loose hope! (in the return of better weather or your creating hands)

    1. Thanks Helene! i hope you get inspired and create something interesting, not nessisarily fish with hands unless you would like to make your own Mr. Mer! (you could make one without knees!) but looking at others work sometimes set off a spark of an idea that will simmer in the back of your brain for a while then come out unexpectedly as someting exciting and unexpected!!

    1. Thanks Ann! it should be fun! i hope we get lots of curious fellow investigators!! (you don’t have to be a local guild member to join since we will be Zooming)

      i will tell Mr Mer you find him less creepy! i suspect we was hoping for scary or Fishy rather than creepy.

  3. Mr Mer is really looking good. His hands will be very useful for all his modeling jobs. I have needle felted a few figures and fingers and toes were always so fiddly.

    I look forward to hearing more about the study group.

    1. Thasnks Ruth! i think the shape is prity close to what i was ameing for but i may play with the mottling of collour a bit more. i think he needs to be able to hide in the weeds along the shorleline and rock to hunt crayfish. hum do i need to make him a cray fish? he has been ejoying his modling though so im not shure he will want to go on to his huntting carriear.

      i am excited about the study group. it hopfuly will be a way to keep exploring an aspect of felting (armature wire), but from a distance, together. now that sentiment would have made no sence 2 years ago! let us think of it as we are now enlightened to more posibilitys and ways of learning and this alows people from farther away to join in the fun. (i am trying to be posive in my thinking!) i will definatly keep you updated!

  4. Mr. Mer’s fingers are exquisite. I confess I’d be a little frazzled if I saw them under the type of light you photographed him in, if it were the middle of the night 😀

    1. Thanks Leonor! i had fun with some LED lights from the doller store. i like chiaroscuro lighting but havnt quite got it here (next photo shoot at night!!). he is looking a bit spookie! he may just scare away all the crayfish and minows at my brothers cottage! the lake has Pike Perch Rock bass Sun fish as well as lots of other fish so plenty for him to hunt! (if i can talk him out of his moddeling carrear)

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