Soft Sculptures For the Hard Hearted

Tinker, Tailor, Felter, Sigh

My good friend Sarah Scherer is not only an enormously talented hair stylist, but also a gifted fine artist whose subject matter usually centers around teeth, abstracted female genitalia, and naturalistic tree knot formations.

So for Sarah’s birthday this year I thought I’d make her an artsy sculpture out of hair (aka wool roving) using some of the thematic elements she loves so much.

Orificial Artifice

2012

Needle felted Corriedale and Merino wool

Approximately 4.5 x 5 x 3.5″ (?)

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I spent some time working on the piece with one of my favorite needle felting artists and personalities, Moxie, when she held a needle felting Tinkering Studio session at an event called Open Make at San Francisco’s Exploratorium.

Moxie felting with the masses (Photo courtesy Made By Moxie Flickr page)

I was honored to be felting alongside one of my heroes in the field! Watching Moxie patiently instruct both children and adults on the basics of the craft was really interesting, and everyone seemed to be having a great time stabbing wool into shapes. She even turned me on to her environmentally friendly felting foam (available for sale here), a nice departure from the sticky Clover brush mat I usually employ.

Moxie’s eco-friendly foam. (Courtesy www.etsy.com/shop/hifiberkits)

During the making of Orificial Artifice I found myself working more quickly than I had before, using blending brushes for the first time to mix most of the colors (with the exception of the teeth), and beginning to further explore making wrinkles, nooks and crannies within the sculpture that lent themselves to crisper dimensions.

But, perhaps most importantly… I got to put a smile on someone’s face.

(Frightening photo courtesy Karen Wilkinson/The Exploratorium)

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