Mac Dragon

Mac Dragon

The Snow started Friday just in time for rush hour and continued into the early parts of Saturday. (Sometimes it’s good that I don’t usually go anywhere.) I do not want to go out and look at the driveway.  Looking at the garage roof, it may be better to stay in and finish writing this note to you. Then tomorrow, Sunday, I have some feet to work on if I can finish the gastrox and soleus muscles so I can get to the feet. I promise I will show you how that is coming in a later post. I also can report I have received Mr. Mer’s Hair! I will show you that but thought a week less fishy might be in order.


So to get to today’s topic I should get you caught up with my frantic (HA!!!) social life. Last week we were able to visit my brother, his family and my Mom for the first time since…. Well, sometime last year…. I think it was early August actually. We were hoping for a safe Christmas dinner but that plan was thwarted.  So it was an early March, (my)  Birthday / (Mom’s) Anniversary,  Dinner My brother was hosting. It was fabulous to see everyone and meet the new kitten (not quite so new now but still stuck with kitten brain). We were very pleased to get caught up on all the family news, especially exciting was the news that my Niece had been accepted into McMaster University. My parents and brother all went to Mac, I was a rebel and wound up in fine arts at the University of Toronto after doing 3 years of commercial art. (My Dad and brother were both PhD Geologists, but I love landscape so I guess that sort of fits in.)

I had brought my little ice dragon to show my niece since she has been interested in some of the strange things I felt. She did like the little guy too.

When I got home, I dug through the little ice dragons’ box and found I had his wing template but not the armature measurements. I did a few quick measurements of the ice dragon then started working on the little Mac dragon. I pulled out a couple of 18-inch steel florist wires and found the roll of 26 gauge steel floral wire and got to work.

 1 Armature in progress

This little guy is a bit bigger than the ice dragon but only a little. I used the 20ga for the main frame and used the 26ga for the tows and lower jaw (both yet to be twisted in the photo). I also added the 26ga over the main frame to give it a bit more strength. He needs to be able to stand up and look fearsome!

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2-3 Adding wool to the armature body

I used a fine crimpy fleece I had purchased at the wool Growers Co-op in Carlton Place but found it to be too brown in tone. I switched to some of the core wool from Sarafina Fiber Arts, trying the darker grey but deciding on the lighter grey. (It’s really important to go check your source or reference material, in this case, the school colours.)

4-5 Always refer to your reference material

Now, to find the burgundy for the wings.   It is time to dig through the Red bin, I have a bag of red tones also in the basement.  Luckily, I found I had a corriedale called Aubergine by Ashford I had picked up at Wabi Sabi (one of the local fibre and yarn stores).

 6 “Mine!!”

The colour was perfect but looked a bit flat since it was too homogeneous. I added a bit of “i-have-no-idea-where-this-came-from fuchsia,”  which I had found while looking for my sari waste, which I never did find and I don’t think it would have been the correct tone if I had found it.

7 Mac Heraldry

A quick check of the McMaster shield Heraldry added the background colour of gold to the two colours Burgundy and Grey.  Ok, where did I put the boxes of beads, I need to find eyes!  They should be Gold or dark amber.

8-9 finding the right colour

I chose one of the dark amber beads in the little bag in the center of the second picture. The colour seemed to work with the body and upcoming wing colours. To add the eyes, I used a long needle to get the position, then used the tapered awl to get the depression the bead would be sunk into, (the eye socket). Leaving a longish tail of thread at the back of the head, I went from there across to the hole for the eye, added the bead and drove the needle through to the other eyehole. I again added a bead this time taking the needle out at the back of the head so I could tie the two threads together. I covered the knot with a bit more of the grey fibre.

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10-14 “Don’t look yet! I can see my wings are naked!!!”

I again made a template to layout the wings. I dry rubbed them a bit to get them to be cohesive enough to remove the cards.

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15-17 the strangely expanding wings.

Strangely with wispy wings, as I felt the wings tend to get bigger, not shrink like a good felt should do! Even my fiber is dyslexic and can’t be relied on to do anything the normal way everyone else dose! I could have done this using wet felting but I would have to have gotten wet so I went for the dry option. I am sure you will be much braver and may not melt with the application of dampness. If in dought you might try surgical gloves.

18 Mac Dragon is keeping close supervision on my work.

I counteracted the expansion that the punch tool seemed to encourage by working with a single needle on an angle, from each end, along the leading edge of the wing membrane. It was still a bit longer at the front edge than I had planned on, but I made a design change at the shoulder and was quite pleased.

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19-24 the wings

“No don’t show that side! You haven’t added my tail enhancement!!!!”

“The Embarrassment!! Just for that, I will show them what you were drinking while you were making me!! That will explain any blurry or inappropriate pictures!!”

25 “Ha! She was drinking BEER!!!”

Mac dragon, it did take me 2 days to drink that one can, out of the 3 days it took to make you, so I am not likely to be too tipsy to operate a camera. Though it’s probably not a good idea to drink too much alcohol while needle felting…….

My final additions to dragon were the ear puffs with a bit of gold Bombay silk and the bifurcated tail embellishment. I added a secondary piece of wool and silk above the bifurcation. (I am sure it will attract other dragons with its flamboyantness and the bit of gold silk)

26 “I am the magnificent Mac Dragon! I can’t wait to start classes! I wonder what we will be taking…. I hope it’s Art!  Maybe stop motion animation would be fun?”

I tried out the Christmas video camera (the zoom is a disappointment and the frame rate is not as listed.) I had a long argument with the file this afternoon and got it finally to crop, rotate and convert to avi format.   I pulled out the little display turntable I had ordered in December(?), time is getting much trickery to keep track of than it used to be.  Let’s just say it’s the pandemic and I won’t worry about that too much. If I can get the file to add, I will add it here.

Video of Mac Dragon pretends to be a merry–go–round (If this doesn’t work I will beg Ann to help! Second try, my phone is much more shaky but worked better than the new video recorder for formatting!)

I would like to have been able to get Mac Dragon (short for McMaster U. Dragon) to his new home but I am snowed in until tomorrow. So, no one say anything to my Niece until after I can deliver him on Monday!

Keep safe and Keep Felting!!








18 thoughts on “Mac Dragon

  1. I love him. He’s got almost as much self confidence and panache as Mr Mer.
    When I saw the title of your post I thought he was a Scottish dragon, and I said to myself “I didn’t know we had them in Scotland – I know that we have them in Wales – red usually, but perhaps they migrate”. But now I know he’s Canadian.
    He is very attractive and I’m sure your niece will be proud to show him off.
    I notice that the University sports a Griffin on it’s Arms – will you be creating one of them too? You never know, they may commission you to do so once they have seen Mac.

    1. Thanks Ann, he is a bit more demanding than Mr. Mer to work with! it mite have been better to leave the eyes till the last. the sheild says its an eagle but i thot griffin too when i looked at it. while i was surching the crest i found out from the university web site that “The Lord Lyon King of Arms, Edinburgh, granted the University the Arms shown here on October 20, 1930. During their creation Dr. W. H. McNairn, Professor of Geology and a student of heraldry, was “the chief source of inspiration.” ” . there is a link from there to look at the sheild more closely. i may try a griffin but i have a minitor and probubly a centor to try first!

      i am sure he will enjoy University untill he has to do exams or write an history essay and the teacher says he dosnt usuly see diagrams, charts and illustrations in such essays. i was an fine art student! how did i know forth year history esays had to be borring? espeshaly when the topic was realy intersesting!!! (Viking crew sizes as discussed in Egal saga and a secon one on norse icogoraphy showing trade interaction with non norse nabours) i have always confused people.

      Are you shure Scottland has no Dragons? i am sure thay must have Dragons, big manly dragons (with kilts?) or Feroshous rores that sound a bit like well played bag pipes? they are probubly just vary fast and cunning so no one sees them!!! or maybe quite small and deadly so no one lives to tell there tail? there may be need to investigate further!!! (but carefully in case its the later and not the former)

    2. Thanks for the link Jan. I think that it actually is an eagle, it seems to have a feathered head and a beak rather than a lion’s head. That’s a shame I rather like griffins. I’ve always wanted to have a go at one of them – something else to add to the list for UFOs not yet started.
      I love the idea of a Scots dragon in a kilt – wonder what he’d keep in his sporran.
      Looking forward to the Minotaur and the Centaur.

  2. What a handsome little dragon Mac dragon is! Loved the story and the step by step instructions Jan. Your niece will adore him. Keep warm ❤

    1. thank you! i am shure she will be pleased (even if he insists on going to class!) we seem to have had a bit more snow over night, but i have hope that spring will come soon! (i have free snow, just come and pick it up!)

  3. Putting him on the merry-go-round was a good idea – we got a better view of him than from a still pic.

    He’s fabulous and your niece will be thrilled to have him as a mascot.

    1. Thank you! i found the little display turntable online and ordered it. i know i have an Ikea wooden lazy susan somewhere around here for larger pieces but its manual turning only. i reset up and did the vidio again with my old fone. its a bit shaky but it dosnt have to be downloaded to look at! its defalt is mp4 which i could not perswade my free vertion of vidio editing software to format the vidio cameras vid as. so i may have to try and read the poorly translated instruction book again or just keep pushing randome buttons and see what happens.

      i hope she will enjoy her new University buddy! (he will likly want to go to class or help with home work!)

  4. What a fun dragon. I really like the way you create the wings and the effect that gives the dragon. I’m sure your niece will adore him.

  5. Thanks Ruth! its cool the way so little felt can hold together and look like a gossimer web (its a bit sneeky the way the wings get larger as i felt them…. it is likly just me…..) i think a bit of spray starch or fabric stiffiner would let the wings get even wispyer (with less wool). i may need to investigate further! there are rummers of Scottish Dragons so i may have to try again! i am looking forword to deliveing him tomorow, as long as we dont get more snow!!

  6. He is wonderful Jan. I am sure she will love him. I am glad we got the video working. If he hasn’t made it to your niece before you visit me, bring him along I would love to see him in person.

    1. Im Sorry!! My Brother picked him up last night when he was out running errons. My Neice likes him! i added a bit of extra fiber and a fine needle in case he picks a fight with the teen-kitten before they head off to school. (i hope he dosnt use the needle to pick the fight! maybe i should have added bandades Too!!)

  7. Just lovely…a touch of whimsy when all else is a tad bleak and grim… he may get some antipodean friends one day! 😊

  8. Thanks Anna! i know he is excited to head off to Hamilton to McMaster in September, but i am excited to find out where They will both go after that! Maybe there will be an oppertunity to visit dragons from the opposit corner of the world! (i am vary sure there will be dragons there too! i will look forword to seeing pictures)

  9. Jan, I am gobsmacked by your creations, and enjoy the theatrical life you give to them. I am certain your niece will be happily showing him to her school friend’s. Such an original gift too…better than receiving a shower caddie and towels. 🥰

    1. oh no i hadnt thot about shower caddys or towls, i dont think Mac will be vary absorbent!! My neice will likly be on the swim team too so even more wetness. i may have to take your suggestion and get her towls too!!

      i have had a lot of fun felting and i do have an odd sence of humour so i am vary please you are enjoying the strangly strong personalities i seem to be creating. i thot it was becouse i took so long working on each one, but Mac took only 3 days of felting so not as long as the Mer’s are takeing but still wound up vary insistant!

      i hope there will be fotos of Mac at McMaster U.

  10. Thanks, i spotted the (USB or battery) turn table in sales posts and tracked it down. i wanted a way to show you more of the volume of a pice which can be hard in still photos. i hope i will get batter with the little vidio camera. there are bigger turntables but they are a LOT more expencive so i may have to find the manual vertion from Ikea.
    Yes my Neice loved Mac i am so happy. i do hope she takes pickure of him at univerity with her. I hope he dosnt wonder off to take classes on his own!!

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