The needle felt goldfinch. This is one technique I use whilst planning the composition and scale of the piece, but as with the feet, I use different approaches for each individual bird/animal.
I use sketches as seen in the image to check the overall size that I will need which in turn helps me scale and see loosely how the overall look will be.
Now this I find crazy exciting, as it really does start to bring the character into view and though the actual wings will be doing their own independent movements, this will be a key stage in the development..but oohhhh my good god this takes forever and a day, as each feather is individually made and at this scale, it will take some time before moving on to the tail
Once the coat has been removed and I have these in place, I will move onto completing the feet once more, as they are quite prone to being dropped and I can be rather clumsy, I don’t want to cause any damage, which is again why I leave the claws till last.
Damage can happen to and does occur but the beauty with this is that most, if not all can be repaired and have spent a very long time ensuring that my needle felt work will last for a VERY long time and far surpass me. This itself has been and will always continue to be my goal.
A lot if my work or component parts are chemically treated and in many cases now, behind glass for continued longevity.
As you may know or have read, this is a small part of a larger tableaux and although in some ways has taken some inspiration from Walter potters own version of ‘the death and burial of poor cock robin’ this was not how this project came about, I in fact came across that particular tableaux later.