Making of a Bullfinch

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The primary purpose of creating this sculpture was to try out a few techniques I will be using on future projects. Especially string jointing, which will be used for a large-scale project that’s currently very high on my priority list, felting-wise, but also the use of sculpted clay components for felted objects. The bullfinch is also a culturally significant bird in Sweden, which played into my decision to do this specific species of bird.

The core for the headless sculpture (the head couldn’t be finished until the beak dried, as the beak had wool worked into the back of it and was to be felted in) was made in front of the TV one evening. In fact, the entirety of the bullfinch was made in front of the TV, making its way through most of CSI:NY. One of the primary complications in this early stage was keeping the bird out of the cats’ reach.
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Yule in July!

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Some time ago I borrowed a catalogue from a friend of my mother’s for whom crafting pretty much is a way of life. She’s historically been incredibly supportive (as much as possible for someone I see a few times a year, at least) of my crafting endeavors, and she opens her studio during the local art tours most years, as well as being a member of a regional artists’ guild. She warmly recommended Creativ Company as a supplier, and so when I had the opportunity I had to give them a try

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Finds in Unexpected Places

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Sometimes when you’re looking for one specific resource, you find that you have to search in pretty esoteric places in order to find what you seek. I needed waxed thread for jointing needle-felted sculptures, and I spent some quite frustrated hours searching for endless variations on the word, finding among other places one company that would gladly sell waxed thread – in spools of 1100 meters. (Their target market was not fiber artists, obviously, but upholsterers, who go through significantly more of the stuff.)

When I finally found a supplier, it was in the place I’d least expected: Handelsgillet, a supplier for SCA-style enthusiasts who want period supplies when practising their hobby. They sell a wide variety of reproductions, though I was primarily interested in the waxed linen thread and a couple of blocks of extra wax for future use.

The (somewhat cat-mangled) contents of my parcel from Handelsgillet

Unfortunately, I was unwise enough to leave the parcel on my desk, and one of my cats, who is enough of a thief that I affectionately refer to her as the magpie, thought the wax smelled interesting and mauled it through the bag. (I also ordered a pair of bone dice, because I am a sucker for neat dice.)