I am working on a family of felt penguins for a group show I will be part of at bookhou in Toronto in July. The show will be called "Winged Migration" and will include work by Gennine Zlatkis, Abigail Brown, Margie Oomen, and Arounna Khounnoraj. I'm very excited. I wanted to try making my birds in felt, and making them bigger. This penguin family will include two more adults (the mom and a friend?), another egg, and a newly hatched chick.
This penguin is 15% larger than my original penguins and I loved sewing him in wool felt. I was a stumped for a day or two when it came to covering his legs and feet. When I sew birds from quilting cotton I cover the wire with floral tape and torn strips of fabric, but I wanted to stick with wool for this guy.
I emailed Laurie Sharp, whose book Wool Pets is an inspiration to me. I have done almost no needle felting, but I want to learn and Laurie is the expert. She emailed right back and suggested wrapping roving around the wire and wet felting it. Perfect. I did as Laurie suggest, and put a few stitches in the roving to hold it in place on the wire. Then I dipped his little toes in hot soapy water and rubbed them between my fingers for several minutes to felt the fibers. I need to order a barbed needle and get started doing some needle felting. I want to make the chick look fluffy and I'm thinking I could needle felt gray roving right onto his body.