December 21, 2020

Alfur from Hilda

Do you watch Hilda on Netflix? If you don't, get on that. 

We've probably watched the first season four times through now, heading into a fifth as we countdown the days till Season 2 premiers. Our three year old girl loves it. I wanted to crochet a tiny Alfur, but the more I thought about it, the less I thought that would work very well. I considered Sculpy clay too... but of course decided to go and learn a new skill: Needle Felting. 

I ordered the Clover needle felting pen tool and a multipack of unspun wool that had the red and white colors I liked. I also ordered a set of leather finger covers and a needle felting mat from Amazon after I stabbed myself many many times the first few attempts. I basically just read a bunch of blog posts by others and watched a few you tube videos.

I made a yellow ball. I know... wow right. But then added another and worked up a few tiny eyes and a beak and voila! A fat chick spirit from Spirited Away! Then I tried out a sort of fuzzy ghost, which was cool to leave part of it unspun and unfelted to give it that wispy ghost look. More recently I'm trying to make a character from a webcomic I like, but am not sure how it't turning out...

These experiments helped get me a bit of confidence, but of course I couldn't just stop with needle felting... of course not. I decided I wanted him to be able to be posable. That meant needle felting the body around a skeleton. I attempted to make my own armature with beading wire, and while it looked ok, it was not the right color, nor very sturdy.
this black wire was way too thick

So I decided to outsource the skeleton to a friend who does paper flowers. I figured she would have a better knowledge of wires and could wrap it in black so that it would look correct to the character. 

my attempt

I sent her my rough drawing, a picture of what I had come up with, and an idea on scale and she sent back like the perfect thing. Shoulders can move a little and the wire is tough enough that a bend will stay in place. She also coated it in clear modge podge which should keep it safe should when I pose him in the leaves and stuff. Of course I forgot to take a picture of the new armature sans felt...

wrapped skeleton

With a round head, cone shaped body, cone hat, two small ovals for hair poufs and two long ovals for ears... I had me a little Alfur! The eyes, eyebrows and smile were tricky... But the pen tool has three needles, which can easily slide out, so I was able to use one needle for these small parts. Just takes patience and a lot of poking. 

Got to say... all that poking is nice and cathartic if you manage to not stab yourself...

Difficulty: Easy
Time to complete: about 4 hours