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Topic: Rusty the Moth Guy - mostly needle-felted art doll  (Read 2736 times)
Tags for this thread: moth , needle_felted , art_doll , creepy_cute , mushroom , featured_project , monster , rust , upcycle  Add new tag
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PerfectlyBohemian
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« on: July 01, 2016 05:39:06 PM »



I was sooo very excited to participate in the Strange Doll Swap in June, and when I got partnered with petskin for the first time in my swapping career, I was all the more excited. I decided to go with "moths" for the primary theme and "mushrooms" for the secondary theme of her list. I experimented and did somethings I don't usually do, and it was all a ton of fun. I really want to do more projects like this now Smiley



Rusty's body is needle-felted mostly of a plain white core fiber and then a nicer plain white top roving with four natural grayish insect-like arms, and dark natural wool accents around his eyes, legs, and forehead. Around his collar are bits of white wool locks from yet another batch of wool I have to give him a ruffled look. He has a fairly wimpy armature, unfortunately - I didn't realize how weighty he was going to get, and he didn't hold his pose well after handling and moving a lot. He can balance on his own, but his head looks down quite a bit Sad His legs were wrapped in jute twine with polymer clay claws to help provide a stable and durable foot.



For the non-needle felted bits, he has feathered ear tufts - each "ear" is three or four feathers stacked neatly and I built up the felting around them to hold them in and make them stand. You maaaay have noticed that Rusty has some abnormal "growth" on his back - mainly a few slender white mushrooms dotted with green and blue "moss". I made the mushrooms from polymer clay following a tutorial I found here. I added wires to the stems of the mushrooms, which are embedded into Rusty's humped back. The mossy bits are what I like to call "sweater droppings" or "wool pellets". They are the bits of balled up wool left in the corners of my garment bags when I machine wash/wet felt sweaters for craft projects. I have a couple bags of them because I always though I would find a purpose for them. Never through anything away, right? Wink They are also felted down in place. His eyes - which I am in love with - are made from big, flat beads that I had in my stash for a long while with plans to use for some steampunk-style accessories that never came to be. I layered on polymer clay with brushed on pastels to create the eyes. They are slightly insect like but not at the same time. The beads change from orange to green depending on the angle of light.









Now we are getting to the part where Rusty gets his name! The top of his moth wings were created using muslin fabric that I soaked for a few days in water filled with coffee grounds while the fabric was wrapped around rusty nails, screws, and hinges (kindly and gladly donated to me by geekgirl1000100). This was the biggest experiment of the project. I had never really dyed things by intentionally staining with things that tend to stain. I discovered that rust stain does not soak through fabric well. I attempted to get a symmetric look to the wings by doing two layers at once, but I wound up having to do one side and then the other (I had a small supply of rusty bits for this). I was really impressed by the overall result and found some things surprising. I expected the coffee to turn the fabric brownish, but it turned out more grayish. I added vinegar to the water bath because I heard it was good for making dyes brighter/hold better - I don't know about this and I'm not sure if it caused the coffee to change color either. Even though it was unplanned, I really liked the gray tinge around the outer bits of the fabric, but when I cut down the wings, I lots a lot of that. Finally, his wings are backed with felted sweater bits. I decided to intentionally mismatch the undersides of the lower wing parts since he is such a strange character, and it seemed fitting. Smiley




« Last Edit: July 01, 2016 05:43:15 PM by PerfectlyBohemian » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2016 07:34:44 PM »

Oh wow! He's fantastic!!
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BirdBones
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2016 12:44:20 AM »

Rusty is brilliant! I love the facial expression and the combination of elements, especially the mushrooms growing on his back- what a wonderful piece of art!

Utterly fantastic!  Grin
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Harlan
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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2016 06:53:53 AM »

BRAVO!!!!!

What a splendid creature!!!  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy  petskin is very fortunate!!!!  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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JoyfulClover
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2016 08:10:02 AM »

I fangirled all over Rusty and you in the swap thread so don't want to creep-stalk you here (too much, anyway).

Rusty is incredibly compelling. I LOVE the details you included in this post. It's great to hear your thought process and techniques. The mixed material and sourcing (felted balls from corners? Are you for freakin serious???) makes me swoon. I've tried rust dying with low success, so your featured application is supurb.

Okay. Maybe a little fangirl here. Awesome work. I'm rockin you!

\m/  JoyfulClover
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2016 08:48:52 AM »

Very impressive design, that is one awesome little fungal moth man!  You put an incredible amount of work and effort into him and it shows; petskin is indeed fortunate to call this cute monstrosity her own!
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geekgirl1000100
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2016 09:58:13 AM »

I was lucky enough to see Rusty in all stages of life.  It's an impressive piece of work.  He's awesome but I think I love his feet the most.
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PerfectlyBohemian
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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2016 10:12:30 AM »

Thank you sooo much everyone for the kind words! Rusty is one of my favorite creations to date now. I still count myself very fortunate to be petskin's partner also (you guys gotta check out the little morel mushroom lady doll she made me; it makes me squeal). I think we were both perfectly matched as partners! I loved making Rusty and hope to have more opportunities to make his kin in the future. Cheesy
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JoyfulClover
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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2016 10:20:41 AM »

Oh yeah. You guys were the perfect match for the swap. Petskin's esthetic is phenomenal.
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Killam Creative
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2016 07:32:23 AM »

Wow wow wow! I love Rusty!
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