Well! That was a long hiatus. But these hands have not been idle. Here’s my latest endeavor: a replication of Tenniel’s illustration for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland — as a diorama! It turned out to be a great way to pose 3D characters against a more-interesting-than-plain-white background.
There’s been a lot of “Alice” stuff around since the launch of the Tim Burton movie, and so I’m jumping on the bandwagon. But really I’ve had the idea of recreating the look of the Tenniel illustrations for quite some time. It was my search for a way to create more realistic (and less rustic) figures with crochet that led me to needlefelting. At first, I tried embroidering faces on my crocheted dolls, but it looked so clunky.
“If only there was some way to ‘paint with wool’…” Googling those words, my mind was blown by what I discovered — in particular the work of Kay Petal, whose Felt Alive creations are amazing in their realism, character, and personality.
So I picked up a few basic tools, ordered some more supplies and Kay’s DVDs, and set to work poking away, turning tufts of wool into little shapes. I’d finally found “my thing!” although I do continue to dabble with knitting and crochet from time time.
Meanwhile, back to the diorama. I think I may be obsessed with making dioramas now… there are already a few ideas brewing for other literary tableaus… This particular one is for a contest with an Alice in Wonderland category; yes I love the contests (I’ve even won 1st place before…) — they provide an added incentive to finish projects (but also, lead one astray from other projects already in progress: I have yet to report on the Noah’s Arc Playset that is currently in production).
Here are some of the parts pre-assembly. My fave is the zombie Alice: because I knew she’d be holding onto the mushroom in the end, I had to shape her arms into that shape right from the beginning.
More pics on the Flikr!