Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Needle Felted Hearts


I just finished an order of hearts for The Walker Art Center Shop in Minneapolis and thought I'd share some of the color here. 


These little niblets are made entirely of wool by needle-felting wool roving. 


In case you don't know what needle-felting is, I'll give you my version.  (because sometimes I live in a craft bubble and assume that everyone knows what needle-felting, roving, mordants, mod-podge, etc. is)

So wool fibers are hair, and these hairs have scales on them.  Their surfaces are sort of jagged, and when forced against each other, they grab hold and mat together.  Whether you're creating felt from roving, using a felting needle to force them together, or fulling a wool sweater, the fibers are essentially doing the same thing, grabbing each other and holding on. 

Picture two pinecones. 


If you were to start wiggling those pinecones into each other, their scales would become entwined. 


That's kind of what the individual wool fibers do.

Needle-felting is just the process of forcing these fibers together using a specially-designed barbed needle.  I sometimes refer to it as at-home plebotomy. (if you've done it, you know what I'm talking about)  Artists use this technique for sculpting, creating "paintings", vessels, and lots of tiny wool hearts.

So if you find yourself in the Minneapolis area, stop by The Walker and psst...buy a heart.


Happy Tuesday, all.

19 comments:

nikolina100 said...

I'm in LOVE with those hearts!!

Betz White said...

Very cute shape!

ZenCrafter said...

They are little niblets, aren't they? Thanks for the pinecone analogy and photos!

Sonia said...

omg they are so darling ! so perfectly shaped ! I wish I could visit you & you'd learn me how to needle felt !
xoxoxo

Anna said...

Oh these are just so adorable....are they available at your Etsy store? x

Laura said...

Wow! I am amazed by how symetrical your hearts are! Lovely, lovely.

PumpkinGirl said...

These are so cheerful and cute, makes me want to drive to Minneapolis and git one!!!

Spanglergirl said...

Oh - those hearts are to die for!! The little shop - in Minneapolis - can they be ordered by mail or phone??

Rane said...

If I was there there would be nothing left... Love them too bits. Really who could resist them? You are sooo talented. xxx

Lisa at Lil Fish Studios said...

Thank you so much, everyone! I really appreciate your sweet comments.

Anna - no, these will probably not show up in my shop, but thank you for asking!

Spanglergirl - yes, the Walker will accept orders over the phone and will ship anywhere. Their website is walkerart.org . :D

Lisa at Lil Fish Studios said...

Just a quick update, the Walker now has the hearts on their shop website. You can see them here:

http://shop.walkerart.org/default.aspx?ck=PAYWKGHUVD&pk=5ACB1F23AD&section=Product&CatalogID=&Details=6554422

Lisa

Tumus said...

LOL Lisa you're so brave putting your fingers at risk! I've needle felted hearts before and I sweat from the intensity and fear of pricking my finger :( But I keep on! That's quite and amazing stash!

Term papers said...

That is the best thing I have seen in a long time! So cool. And they look so pretty. Who would have though. They are Fabulous.(if I've done it, I know what You're talking about) Artists use this technique for sculpting, creating "paintings", vessels, and lots of tiny wool hearts.

Sheila said...

Got a bunch of them!! They are on their way!! They are going into a little crystal bowl - just to make me happy thru February! Thanks You!

Lisa at Lil Fish Studios said...

Rebekah - "ouch" and variations thereof are quite common around here when the needles are out. :)

Term papers- Thank you so much!

Sheila - Oh that's fantastic! The Walker is such a great institution and I'm really lucky to get to work with them from time to time. It's very gratifying that they choose to work with local artists. I hope you enjoy the hearts!

amy said...

They look so delicious! They would be great in a giant bowl -- i could stare at them all day!

Anna said...

I absolutely adore your hearts! They are the cuties things ever!

Unknown said...

I am amazed at how smooth they are! Any hints?

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Surface smoothness...well, I think I get the smoothest surface when I make a very firm core so I would start there. I build up my shape in layers and after I have the shape where I want it, I go over the surface with a fine needle (a 40 or 42) then trim any fuzzies off with a small pair of scissors. Hope that helps.

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