Updates every other Sunday with new artwork and content from the working life of a freelance illustrator.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Felting Friday - the Lammergeier!

First off, I revamped my website a little bit. I'm a complete sucker for teal and turquoise shades, and I eventually intend to match it up with some soft pinks when I get some time to fiddle with it more and make some pretty buttons and whatnot.
I think I'll aim for needle felting something every friday for the foreseeable future. Seems like a good pace alongside other stuff for the moment, though I know I won't be able to keep it up. Drawing and painting is in my bones and I'll eventually have to prioritize.  
So this week I bring you my absolute favourite animal, the Bearded Vulture or Lammergeier (which, let's face it, sounds infinitely cooler). 
Needlefelted lammergeier, merino wool & wire

I spent ages trying to pose this fella in my garden before remembering I've got a lamb skull now. Or ewe. Who knows. Some kind of sheep, right? Lammergeier means 'lamb-vulture' in German which refers to old stories of the big guys swooping down and carrying off lambs. They're up there in the top 10 largest birds of prey in the world and can allegedly grow up to four feet fall. Which seems insane. 
More fun facts? Their diet is almost entirely made up of bone marrow and their bellies can digest bone in twenty-four hours. The orangey-redness of their feathers isn't natural, these guys rub dust on like war paint. As if those eyes weren't intimidating enough. Unfortunately there are only about 20,000 left, which definitely isn't enough because I'm desperate to see them in the wild. 
This one was super frustrating and I almost gave up at one point. I was basically winging it (hah) with the armature and, looking back, it just wasn't the best. Some new pliers and thinner wire should help next time. I tried something new with the feet and glossed them and the beak over with PVA which kind of worked. But it bears some experimenting. The wings were a shot in the dark which I bought some felt sheets for and I think they look really nice. But again, I'll have to practice.
Birds are REAL HARD to felt, basically..
I definitely need to make more.


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About Me

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Hi! I'm Claire Spiller, a freelance illustrator, vis-dev artist & storyteller based in Bristol, UK. I love animals, wild places, plants, handmade things, and creating characters and stories. My work often blends nature and fantasy, science and mythology. I also do bits of sculpting and needle felt occasionally as a hobby, and sell prints, original art and bits of arty goodness in my Etsy store!
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