Posted 3 months ago
One of Fiona's finished 3D sculptures. (Image: Fiona Finlayson)
By Katie Collier
As dog owners, we know the struggle of keeping our canine’s fur neat and tidy. Perhaps your dog unintentionally leaves hair around the house like confetti at a party (everywhere!) or maybe they lose lots of fur when a brush runs through it. Either way, your dogs’ fur is useful for things other than the bin!
Fiona Finlayson, a needle felting artist from Scotland, enjoys making portraits of animals. The dog ones are some of her most popular work. She commissions pieces so anyone who is interested can send her a picture of the animals to work from.
To make the 3D sculptures, Fiona uses a wire armature and wraps pipe cleaners around it. A wheel then goes over the top, allowing her to begin using a needle to felt it together.
Materials like wool are used within the sculptures. Fiona said: “You use a core wool which is just kind of like a cheaper sheep wool to sort of build the bulkiness of it and then you use different coloured wools and textures of wools to make the dog so that’s what I’ve kind of found as I’ve gone on.
“I’ve got lots of wool now and if I go on holiday anywhere I try to buy different wools from different places and I suppose it’s like an animals wool that you’re using but sometimes it’s just really like the dog’s coat as well and that just makes it more real looking and it’s glass eyes that you use for them.”
This close up picture shows just how detailed and textured Fiona's sculptures are. (Image: Fiona Finlayson)
Fiona went to an arts college and completed her degree a while ago now and wanted to find something to do. When she came across a needle felting class, she signed up and attended the half-day course. She enjoyed it so much that she ordered her own wool straight away.
After attending one more course where she learnt how to use an armature, Fiona opened an Etsy shop where she accepts commissions.
Adding fur into her work is still a fairly new thing for Fiona but she is excited to make more in the future.
The 3D models can act as precious keepsakes and ornaments for people who own dogs or have lost them.
She said: “I’ve just finished a cockapoo’s portrait. It was one that had sadly died and actually a groomer had saved some of the fur and she’s getting it made for her friend.”
Fiona’s Etsy shop can be found here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ffinlaysonart