Sunday, May 12, 2013

Hercule Poirot Dolls: Two More Needle Felted Sculptures

I can't believe it, but I have now made twenty needle-felted wool dolls (or "sculptures")! These dolls have quite a story, too. Two and a half years ago, I made a smaller felted Poirot doll as a surprise Christmas present for Mom and posted the story here on my blog. It has been quite popular, and I've received quite a few comments and e-mails asking if I would make another Poirot doll.

One thing that you have to know about me is --- I don't duplicate any of my original handwork. I didn't always have strong feelings about this, but after a few trials of duplication (mostly because Elizabeth just had to have "the same" something) I soon learned better. When working with something handmade and without a pattern, it is impossible to make an exact duplicate. It never looks just the same and the person on the receiving end is always disappointed.

So, I stubbornly refused to make another Poirot. Then --- it happened. I got a really nice e-mail from a lady in another country who wanted to know if I would make a Poirot doll for her. I sent back a long e-mail explaining my reasons for not duplicating. And the fact that felting is really just my hobby. Well, she sent back a nice chatty reply, told me that she totally understood, but would I please keep her in mind if I ever felt like making another Poirot?

Elizabeth is a great sister. She and I talk about a lot of things, and on this occasion E. did a lot of talking. In fact, she talked me into agreeing to make one more Poirot. Not only that, but she actually talked me into making two more Poirots --- that way we could always list the other in our Etsy store. So, I sent an e-mail back to the nice lady saying I would be glad to make one. I even explained that I was planning on making two, so she could have a choice of outfits and colors. What I hadn't figured on was her writing back and saying that she would like both of them --- one wearing the classic light grey suit and the other in his cream-colored "Travel" suit. Wow!

So, for the last several months I have been working on two little Poirot dolls. Finally, yesterday evening, I put the finishing touches on them. Making one of a character at a time is great, but making two of the same was a bit challenging. It kept them at a similar shape and size, but it also felt like I was always making mistakes, since I had to keep "recreating" the same pieces all along the way. In the end, it really did pay off, though, as the finished dolls are an absolutely adorable pair!

Each doll weighs two ounces. They were made with .40 and .42 gauge felting needles and took approximately 110 hours to make as a pair. The doll in the light grey suit stands 8-1/2" tall and the doll in the "Travel" suit stands 8-1/4" tall. Dad made their canes out of wood and used metal beads for handles. The doll in the grey suit has a real sterling silver "stud" on his shirt, and the doll in the "Travel" suit has a fly-swatter made (also by Dad) of Buck Tail and Quill. The watch chains and fobs were made by Elizabeth and are made from real jewelry chain and a "dangle-y" jewelry piece for the fob. The lapel pins are made of some unidentified silver jewelry thing, and the flowers are felted. The doll in the light grey has a light pink rose the color of the "Hercule Poirot" rose as seen in the David Suchet TV episode How Does Your Garden Grow?.

Now that they are finished and sitting here, I am so happy that Elizabeth talked me into making them. They will be leaving for their home in a private collection in the next few days. Mom and Elizabeth are going to be sorry to see them go. Mom's just a teeny weeny bit jealous, as these two Poirots are infinitely superior to her doll. :) It is too bad that I won't be able to enter one of them in the State Fair this Summer, so the Mark Fain doll will just have to go alone! These Poirots certainly are cute, and they are even better in person than they are in photos.

If you'd like to see more photos of the dolls, you can see their photo albums by CLICKING HERE. So, I have made twenty dolls now --- and even duplicated a character. Poirot certainly lends himself to felt. I'm planning on taking some new "group shots" of some of the dolls tomorrow, so I'll post more later.

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