Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Today's art quest: felting with poodle hair

I took a felting class the other day at Artsplace Cheshire, and decided to do some felting with poodle hair.  After all, what else was I going to do with the big bag of dog hair that I brought home from the groomer a few weeks ago?  I decided to replicate this image of our standard poodle, Java, nosing around in eel grass on Cape Cod:

After almost six hours of laying wool roving onto a background of silk gauze, applying soap and water, wrapping the piece around a noodle and rolling it, my result still wasn't ready for prime time.

So, the next day, at home, I continued to work.

That's a big bag of dog hair next to me on the bench.

It's coming along.  And I've learned something:  poodle hair felts together really quickly.  Look at this ball.  I was going to use it for a fluffy tail-end.  Instead, it felted together so so fast it's as hard as a golf ball, and there's no way I'm going to be able to tease those hairs apart to make a tail-end.

Right now I'm adding extra roving, and green yarns, to make the grass in front of the dog, and needle-felting that in.

Felting with poodle hair may be strange, but get this:  the guy next to me in the felting class was making a felted lining for a helmet that he was making to specifications described in the Iliad.  He even brought a copy of the Iliad with him to the class to read to anyone who was interested.  He said he was going on a hero's quest.

Quest on, artists!


  1. You have such a playful spirit!

  2. The insanity should NEVER stop!!!
    I had no idea what you were going to do with that poodle hair now it makes perfect sense!

  3. I'm so glad I'm not the only one looking for ways to use poodle hair (I have two poodles). I make reborn dolls, and for my very first practice doll, I used black poodle hair for the doll's rooted hair. The doll was ugly but my dog fell in love with it and kept stealing the head even before it was attached to the doll. When the doll was finished, I had to give it to him because he kept stealing it and taking it to his dog bed so he could snuggle with it, lol. After 8 years, I had to finally throw the poor doll out because my dog had literally loved it to pieces, lol.

    1. Oooh, Kat, what a great story! I find poodle hair felts really easily, maybe because it's so curly. I've made at least one other felted piece with their hair, in addition to the piece I was working on in this blog. The later piece, completed in 2013, is called "Shall We?" and appears in the quilt gallery on my blog. Now my newest adventure, soon to come: felting a three-dimensional pet figure! I'll do this in a class offered in March by my town's Continuing Education"
      I'll let you know how it comes out! Where are you, anyway? I mean, physically?