My apologies to those of you who received notice of this post prematurely as I mistakenly clicked “publish” before any text was added!
Early on in the process, when I was mulling over the idea of making this piece and starting to do research, I envisioned a large, bearded face. I wanted to create a structure that could serve as a display mechanism for the group of little men. And because most people never see my original artwork, it was important that there be a strong graphic image that would translate well when reproduced in different image sizes.
At first, I was attracted to the “green man” concept, but veered more in the direction of Assyrian sculptures, which have wonderful stylized beards. I stayed with the green palate and added blues and browns.
In this post, I will show photos of the process of making the beard, which turned into a separate piece that could be used as a costume!
The beard is made up of small scraps of felt, that are pieced together like a crazy quilt. I drew peep holes on a paper template and matched felt pieces like a jig saw puzzle to fit. The pieces are sewn together on the back with a slip stitch and then embroidered along the front seams with a fly stitch. I made a lot of progress while on vacation, which is further evidence that I work all the time. The view out the window was nice, though!
I used my felt covered wire technique to outline the beard and facial features.
To keep the holes rounded and firm, I stitched wire around the openings. The smaller curls on the mustache and beard top are made with floss wrapped wire.
The next post (part 3) click here shows the finished piece, with close ups of the bearded men. To read Whiskers (part 1) click here.
Slow Work is Fine Work (I have the poster on my wall) and Steady Work is perpetual heaven in the Here & Now – you are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing how you work; I just love the knowing of there being someone like you out there.
(Ahhhhhh you shóúld grow a beard …… ha, ha, ha !)
Yes! That photo of you wearing your art piece is utterly fetching! Thank you for helping to make my afternoon a happier and more whimsical one.
Hi Margaret, wouldn’t you know that the idea to hold up the beard and take a picture came from my artsy, 30 year old son Ian!
The felt patchwork caught my eye on your previous posting of these pictures. Thanks for filling us in on the details. As always, I am fascinated by your work. It’s always stunning, and fun. I love the effect of the felt patchwork.
Glad that you like the patchwork. It’s a good way to use up odd shaped scraps of precious plant dyed wool felt.
I love your work. I see your artist’s heart in your work. Such talent. I look at what you do & wish I could just quit my necessary job & do what I love like you do. I am on that road but not quite there yet. Thank you for sharing your passion with us.
Thank you for your thoughts Rolanda. More and more, I recognize how spending my life making art is a luxury, but a necessary one. I don’t know how I would have gotten through some very challenging times without this outlet. I hope that you are able to fit some kind of art making into your life, now and in the future.
I adore your work and am over the moon that (because I now have a blog here) I can more easily read your posts (and occasionally comment!). I’ve followed your Facebook page for ages. You’ve so much patience – much more than I have. And so much talent, too. I’ve got a couple of your nursery rhyme books, I don’t have children so they are just for myself – to enjoy your beautiful fabric work. 🙂
Thank you for following along for so long, Val. And it’s nice to hear that you understand that my children’s books are not just for young ones!
I love seeing all the detail in your process. Your work has evolved in a very sophisticated manner – yet you still maintain your whimsical style. I am in love with the ladies piece, too. Both speak to the dignity and beauty of what it means to be a human being. It is fun to see (yours) an artists’ work evolve in real time – one of the blessings of the internet!
Thank you so much for your words, Laurie. Your expression means a great deal to me and make me feel it’s worth the effort of reaching out in cyberspace.
Sally you inspire me. Awhile ago hen you first began you gave a demonstration to an adult class in Barnstable. The Artist Way. Ever since I have made fairies with my art classes and the classes I volunteer with, now that I am retired. But you inspired me to create my own needle work . I have always loved needle work .
I make mermaids. People ask me where did I get the idea and I tell them about your wee folk. I am influenced by Celtic myths and selkies and mermaids.
Thank you for your inspiration