I love needle felting. I especially enjoy needle felting these sculptured doll faces, although it is a long process, and I usually manage to get stabbed by those vicious Felting needles, at least once. Or twice, if I’m totally honest. Needle felting a doll head and face is creative and imaginative, because you create form from an abstract. I use natural wool batting, which is a fluffy white cloud, and Felting Needles, and by repeatedly stabbing the innocent fluffy, formless cloud, I create a form. Sometimes, I look at a photo of a child and try to make this form resemble the child in the photo, and this is not as simple as it sounds. More often, I work by intuition, or instinct. and let the wool, the needles and my fingers work their magic.
There is a basic Needle Felted Doll head form I make, which is similar to the basic Waldorf doll sculptured doll head. Once I’m happy with the basic shape, I keep adding wool and stabbing it with various Felting needles, until I am happy with the fiber sculpture in front of me. Occasionally, I cover it with a piece of Waldorf doll skin, to check if the features are visible through the skin fabric. It is a process of trial and error, blood, sweat and tears. (Those darn needles are extra sharp, you know.)
Sometimes, an awful looking needle felted, sculptured doll head turns into something quite fabulous when covered in doll skin. Other times, a beautiful needle felted doll head looks plain and disappointing when it is covered. Trial and error..or, if you want another cliche, practice makes perfect. And yes, this is definitely the best advice I can give you: Practice, practice, practice.
The second best advice is : Get a BIG box of Band-Aids. Like the loaded gun in Chekhov’s plays, it will be very useful in the future and you will thank me for that.