I’ve been learning to needle felt this year. It’s such a brilliant medium – a sort of cross between painting and sculpture, as the wool needs to be built up then decorated with colour. What better way to utilise my new craft than by recreating two of my favourite woolly characters, Suki and Sosh! They now dangle together, hearts forever entwined in Michelle Robinson’s kitchen.
Meet Mimi Lee!
I’ve been making her over the past few weeks to celebrate the launch of my book How to Train the Perfect Parents (Templar). She’s a quirky little person so I’ve had a lot of fun trying to capture that. I used a mix of materials; synthetic fleece, wool, felting wool, felt, jersey, tulle, with the specs from a kid’s fancy dress shop in China.
It’s a bit of a process of trial and error making something from scratch like this, with quite a bit of unpicking and reassembly along the way. But I think she’s turned out just fine; part Muppet, part doll with an unmistakable cheeky look in her eyes!
I set myself a challenge to create a concertina card. This is the first prototype, made using half a sheet of A3 and crayons and ink. It reminded me of the game ‘consequences’, where you have to split the parts of the body into four. Maybe the next version could be a hybrid made from different animals.
Odd Socks Michelle Robinson & Rebecca Ashdown (Andersen Press, 2016)
- REVIEW The Daily Mail (Sally Morris) Despite the comic absurdity there’s something genuinely moving about this romantic drama, beautifully illustrated with fantastic expression that will have you cheering at the perfect ending. A delight.
I first learnt how to make these weirdities because my mum was a teacher. One day she came home from school with a bottle of pickled people she’d bought from a parent, at the school fair. We all thought they were brilliant, so we started making them too. It became a bit of a craze.
Recently I was working on a puppet character, using stuffed tights for the head and I suddenly realised I had everything I needed to show my own kids the joys of human pickling! How could I resist? I only had tan tights, so we’ll be sourcing a more diverse spectrum for our next batch. I’ll take some photos as a guide, just in case anyone out there feels the urge to join in.