Multiple Projects in Flight

I won’t have any completed projects to show you this week but that does not mean I haven’t been busy – I have multiple projects in flight at the moment. Today I will give you some progress updates. Then in a future blog post we can see how drastically the final products differ from where they started from.

Project 1 – Member Showcase Submission

This one is due mid November and I am probably the least far on it. Oh well. I will discuss in a separate blog post how I decided on this piece based on the theme for the showcase but for now the focus is on the fact that I am making 3 owls. One of the owls is already complete and was highlighted in a previous blog. The second is started from a slab of elm that had cool lichen on the bark.

Live edge slab of elm with orange lichen on bark.  Felted feathers have been added that match the bark and tan felted rings have been added to the center to mimic the rings.  This is the beginning of an owl made from wood and felt.
Owl out of Elm

I am already on the 3rd version of the neck and head and still don’t like it so stay tuned. This one will likely be a great horned owl. The third owl is not started at all yet – other than sweet talking my husband into routing out some of the wood in the middle. I plan to have an owl hiding in the slab. You can even see the outline of an owl in this piece of locust.

Project 2 – Woodland Headboard Commission

My second project is a large 7 ft spalted elm slab that will become a headboard. I don’t have great pictures of the entire thing but hopefully you can see from this photo how much movement is in this piece of wood.

Large 7 ft by 3 ft spalted elm slab that will become a woodland headboard
Spalted Elm Slab

My goal with this piece is to pull the images of animals from Wisconsin that I see hidden in the wood and build up some dimension and artistic license with felt. The first image I found was a moose.

Felted moose nose and wired felted moose antlers on a live edge elm slab that is part of a commissioned headboard project

Nothing is attached yet but the antlers are wired so I will be able to pull them away from the wood for some perspective. The next animal I found is an owl (go figure). You can start to see me laying out some pieces here.

Felted moose nose and wired felted moose antlers next to the start of felt components of an owl on a live edge elm slab that is part of a commissioned headboard project
Moose and start of owl

Picture the owl hunting, like in the photo below. I have been working on additional updates since but haven’t photographed them on the wood again.

There are also walleye, snapping turtle, badger and rattlesnake images that I have coaxed out of the wood. I have completed the structure for the rattlesnake but the images are extremely phallic and I don’t want to get flagged as a porn site so I will just wait on those until construction is a bit further along. 🙂 This piece needs to be completed by the end of November so I will be probably be posting final pictures while eating some turkey.

Project 3 – Weimaraner Commission

This final project is a commission to create the bust of a beloved pet Weimaraner. These are beautiful dogs that are grey in color (that can run from silver to more taupe) and have amber colored eyes. The requestor was familiar with my recent work of integrating animals into the wood and gave me permission to do that. I knew I would need the perfect slab so it started consuming my thoughts. In fact, it was 4am and my husband woke up and caught me staring at pictures of wood. My obsession paid off!

Drawing of a weimaraner head on a walnut slab of wood done as a mockup for a commission project highlighted in blog
Mock up of Weimaraner piece

I found a walnut slab that had movement that looked like the muscled neck of a Weimaraner. I got sign off from the customer and started building the armature for the head. You know, now that I look at that picture again, this one looks really phallic too. Who knew felting would be so erotic? – hee hee

The final two pictures show the armature and one of the ears that I wet felted. I was worried about how I was going to achieve both the color and sheen of the weimaraner. Hearthside fibers had peduncle silk top that was perfect. It felted nicely with some merino wool for the ears. I will likely just needle felt the silk fibers onto his head but I like having options. The grey stain of the wood also exactly matches the silk. This will make the integration of the head and neck look beautiful in the end. Can’t wait for this one to complete. Technically, it has to be ready before Christmas but I am hoping to find time to complete it sooner.

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