Last time I showed you the bag I was working on for myself, if you missed it you can check it out here; (https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2023/11/05/75th-anniversary-moose-bag-needle-felting-on-a-ground-fabric/)
I took it to the Guild sale as an example of embellishing and started to work on the second bag. Unfortunately, while my bag (the Black Moose) was at the sale it got rubbed (yes that has to be supper wash….. it fuzzes with little provocation!!) So, I will have to go back and do repairs then finish it off in a different fiber. Today I wanted to quickly (ok that’s quickly when considering my regular posts), show you what I have been working on for Glenn.
I had offered to make an embellished bag for him. I was considering blacksmith tongs entangled in the antlers but he requested a more 3-D shape and in moose-like colours. Ok, I can do that. This time I started with the 14-inch hoop and the Maori short batt fibre I had purchased in September at the Almonte Fiber Festival (it’s a fundraiser for the Almonte Textile Museum. If you are visiting the Ottawa area, you may want to check them out and maybe stop at the Wool Growers Co-op in Carlton Place too).
1)Mississippi Valley Textile Museum, Almonte, Ontario. https://mvtm.ca/
2)The back storage area of the Wool growers co-op (https://wool.ca/page/history-of-canadas-wool) & https://realwoolshop.ca/blogs/product-inforfmation/canadian-co-operative-wool-growers-canadian-wool?_pos=1&_sid=6387e1151&_ss=r
(exiting travel suggestions and back to felting)
I had been hearing about Maori short-fibre batts online and had been curious. I had purchased a light and dark brown, a mossy green and dark charcoal (that was what Bat on a stick was made from). The fibre had felted to a very firm consistency on Bat so I wanted to use it for the moose, since rubbing may be a problem this fibre should be able to stand up to it if I use Bat on a stick as a guild.
3)Display of Maori batts in the Wool and Paddle booth at Almonte (Lisa Paddle from Manotick Ont.)
I had success with the T38-333 needles so used them again. I may do the final surface work with the T40’s or T42’s since they will not be inserted into the ground fabric.
I started to work on the second bag as part of the demo at the guild sale. (I will show you the sale but it’s taking a while to sort all the photos by booths. I took 343 shots on Saturday and 279 on Sunday but I promise not to show you all of them!!!!)
4) Felting set up in the demo area.
5) I Was part of the demo team (when not taking pictures!)
As previously I started by creating a base well attached to the ground canvas
6) Detail of Moose antlers
I continued into the body adding a base layer and following the shape of the silhouette.
7) starting to fill in the body with a light brown wool base.
8)Building up the head and shoulders
I did not get as far as I had hoped during the demo, but I did keep getting up to take pictures. I kept working on Moose and had him covered and somewhat rounded by the time of the Monday meeting. Bat-on-a-stick also attended.
9) (Bat is holding the extra needles)
10) I have added the ear, and the body is more rounded. The bag is hanging on the handle of my walker and is holding the fibre I was working with and the batt.
After the meeting, I was getting sore-er after moving a few things in the studio the day before. So, I planned to take it easy and focus on Moose. I wanted to give him the closer antler in 3D. This would require an armature and its inclusion into the partly rounded head and neck.
11) Checking the wire armature for the antlers, against the antler in the silhouette.
12) Close-up of the antler armature.
13) Unfortunately, Dollarama does not say what gauge the stems are, but I suspect 20ga-coated steel.
I used two 15-inch long floral wires to twist and create the antlers. The back antlers were the pattern for the wire armature. Is should have made the prongs a bit longer but was able to build them up a bit with wool.
Moose making was briefly interrupted by my order arriving from Sara’s last sale (I got the moose workshop on an SD card.) I know, I can make one from scratch at this point, but it will be interesting to see how she does it and she usually has some bit that is an Ah-Ha moment. I am hoping she will have something inspiring to suggest with antlers and the difference between antlers with and without “velvet”. I am not sure I want to try the stage where the velvet is coming off, it’s a bit gruesome, even for me!
Ok back to my, well Glenn’s, Moose. I wrapped fibre around each point and the main part of the antler then started to fill in the spaces in between. The shortness of the fibre did not allow me to work the same way I had done the little dragon wings. So I had to build up the fibres in much shorter sections, luckily I wanted the antlers thicker and firmer than the dragon wings.
14) showing wool wrapped antler
I checked for placement as I worked. Then built up the base that would attach the antler to the “skull” (no I did not get that anatomical and make him a skull)
15) Checking the positioning of the wire insertion
Ok, this part is a bit gruesome (not as bad as the pealing antlers) so you may want to look away if you’re squeamish. I took the trailing wire under the antler and drove it into his head so it came out near his carotid artery. (I did warn you).
16) The end of the wire had passed through the head and curved to come out in the neck
Next, I bent the wire into a loop and pushed it flat against his neck, while making sure the antler was seated, tightly to the head. The next step is to start carefully adding fibre over the area of the injury, so no one will know that happened.
17) You can see a bit of the folded wire
You can still see a bit of the wire showing but it is starting to disappear! It is fabulous he doesn’t look like he will be permanently scarred from the procedure.
18) Close-up of moose neck showing that the wire is now well hidden.
19) Here is a top view of the added antler
There were a few other details that have been added to this moose. He has the understructure of his beard and bell
20) Beard support has been added I will likely add locks to create the beard when I am working on the surface colour.
21) Two of the feet have 3D tows
22) Underside of hooves
Here is a view of the underside of the hoof, you can see the far side is attached to the ground fabric and the near side is totally 3D.
Lastly, I also added an eye, again it is blue, but this is a much brighter blue. Yes, I checked, the eye should be brown but I like blue so both of the moose have blue eyes.
23) Blue bead added for his eye
This is the point I have Glenn’s moose now. I still have a lot more to do. I will be adding shading to the understructure I have built up. Glenn has indicated he would like to have yarn wrapped in the antlers so he will have to decide on the yarn colour and fiber. I will let you know how it goes.
24) This is the point I have Moose 2 at now. (the needle in the glutes, is that Moose-u-puncture?)
I have heard that other guild members are planning to personalize their moose too. If I see their augmented moose bags I will take a photo to show you.