Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Needle Felting: Sir Bastian

Meet Sir Bastian Dormer, with his lady love Mistress Arbella:

Background image (Layer Marney Tower, built 1520) from The Beauty of Britain and Ireland, Joyce Robins, Chancellor Press, 1992

Last year I made Arbella, the Tudor mouse. She was always intended as one of a pair, and I've finally finished her swain. It took me a little while to get started, as it's hard enough to draw a mouse performing a Tudor courtesy, let alone sculpt one which will also stand up by itself! 
His face is a bit coarser than Arbella's, as he is corriedale wool, instead of the finer merino.

He wears a doublet, robe and trunk hose, but no nether hose, and has a chain of office and a cap, which he carries. The feather I found while walking the dog. I had been planning on using a canary feather, but it isn't moulting season and my canary did not oblige. 

His legs and tail are made of thin copper wire, wrapped with embroidery floss and then coated with clear nail polish. There's not much room for changing the pose, but slight alterations can be made to help him stand.

I started out with a rough sketch, having done a bit of study into mouse skeletons and Tudor courtesies (or bows), built the wire framework for the legs and tail from there, and then covered it with dacron stuffing to form the core. I built the main body all as one, and made the head, arms and cape separately. 

Here are some more snaps of the two mice together:

They're roughly life-size for domestic mice, both fit into my hands comfortably:

Merino and Corriedale wool, #32, #36 , #38 and a star felting needles, copper wire, embroidery floss, glass and plastic beads, feather, polyfill stuffing. 

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