Needle-Felted Wool Sculpture
Written and Posted by Sarah on January 23, 2015
This is my attempt at making a needle-felted doll of Tauriel the Silvan Elf (as she is played by Evangeline Lilly in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies). Elizabeth was keen to have one more "Hobbit themed" doll as a souvenir for the final film of the trilogy, and Tauriel was her character of choice. Well, she did want Galadriel, too, but I didn't think that would come across in felt very well!
Tauriel is the first female that I have needle-felted in three years. I've been hankering to sculpt a girl for a few months, but I hadn't exactly decided on a certain character. After Elizabeth showing me some concept art used for Tauriel I was rather inspired to try one more elf. It's laughable that out of a trilogy of films just packed with characters dressed in leather and felt (all of them just screaming to be needle-felted as a wool doll or sculpture!) that I seem to be always making an elf. They dress in silk and walk in moonlight. However, they do seem to felt well --- and they are pretty fun to boot!
Tauriel stands 9-1/2" high, weighs 2 ounces and took 57 hours of felting to complete. She is made from Merino wool roving and felted using .40 and .42 gauge needles. Just like the Elrond doll, Tauriel has a built-in metal stand hiding under her dress. As accessories Elizabeth made the belt and cuirass (chest armour) out of real leather for me, and she used a reenacting lace on the front of the cuirass. Her necklace is another of Elizabeth's fabulous jewelry creations. She has a silver chain holding her trademark pendant. Tauriel's pendant is made from silver-tone jewelry wire and a crytal stud. To add a finishing touch to her beautiful hair (made of mohair), Tauriel has a silver-wire wound band on her braid. Pictures do not do this justice!
Finding the right color of mohair for this doll was a challenge. In fact, finding real hair coloured mohair is getting harder by the day. I was cutting it a little close on this one, but I did find the perfect hair online --- and it arrived just one day before I was ready to use it! The hair-do itself was even more challenging than Elrond's, and it took about six or seven hours just to work it out. I tried to take some photos specifically of the hair, but I'm not much of a photographer.
I've included a lot of photos in the column at right. Tauriel's outfit consists of knee-height boots (very fancy with elven designs felted on the sides of them), brown "leather" pants, tree-green elven travelling dress (with gorgeous hood that is completely hidden by her hair!), felted "leather" arm guards with elven design to match the boots, real leather cuirass (chest armour) and belt, felted quiver and metal/crystal pendant. Dad made the arrows from feathers and wood. The photos don't quite do her justice, but she actually photographed pretty well!