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Chico the needle felted dog

Chico the needle felted dog

Hello, Leonor here. My guest post for today is going to be a simple “show and tell” as the weather here in London is too warm for complicated thoughts!

Some of you might be aware that I am a fibre artist by trade. Anything wool and I love it. I got into this business a little by accident, and making custom needle felted dogs was even more unexpected – basically, a friend asked me for a mini of his whippet, I took the challenge, and the rest is history!

I’ve now been playing with wool professionally for around 5 years, and I must confess there was one hurdle I was yet to conquer in my work – creating an open mouth. I’d tried once and it didn’t come out right, so I more or less gave up on it. That is, until I made Chico!

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At first I was going to make his tongue out of polymer clay (the idea of finishing it off with a nice layer of glossy varnish to mimic moisture was very attractive to me) but then I decided not to. I liked the idea of a 100% fibre sculpture better.

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I made the lower jaw separately, making sure the upper section was thin enough to accommodate both parts without looking weird. I added a layer of black around the edge to make it more realistic, and then a little white on the back for teeth. The tongue was made using two shades of purplish pink blended together. I made two mini tongues and chose the one that fit best.

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I received a few reference photos to make this little guy, my favourite was one where he was sitting with his leg to the side and smiling. I just had to make him this way.

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I love the detail of paw pads, the feet immediately look real. You can’t really tell from this picture, but Chico is er… anatomically correct. I like a realistic sculpture!

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Below is a picture of the original Chico. The mini version is off to a Spanish island as a surprise for the whole human family. I hope they like it!

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Have you ever created a needle felted animal? What wool did you use and how did you like your experience? Let me know in the comments section.
Questions? Happy to help, just leave a comment!

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