Needle felting is a popular activity among crafters who love all things cute, and Canadian artist Teri Gullon is no exception. She creates adorable animal sculptures from wool that you can hold in the palm of your hand.
As an animal lover, the talented crafter decided to try and make miniature versions of her favorite creatures. “When I first discovered needle felting, my goal was simply to create something adorable to make me smile,” Gullon tells My Modern Met. “I became immediately addicted, literally pulling all-nighters to finish a piece.”
Today, Gullon captures the likeness of all sorts of critters using wool, but she is particularly fond of crafting soft sea creatures from the fluffy fibers. “Being from Nova Scotia, I have spent a lot of time on and in the ocean, so many of my sculptures are inspired by marine life,” she reveals. “I also like the contrast of creating something that lives in the ocean from an unexpected medium like wool.” Gullon has produced miniature woolen whales, sharks, and octopuses. She’s even designed colorful, spotted stingray characters with “smiles” on their underside.
Although she has a penchant for the sea, Gullon's portfolio also boasts a whole range of adorable animals and reptiles that live on land. From realistic dogs to a cute koala, Gullon can craft pretty much any creature from wool. She even created an adorable tortoise, complete with a needle felted shell. “Some of my pieces are meant to be lifelike,” she says, “others are just cute and colorful.”
Gullon’s meticulous process involves stabbing the wool with specialized barbed needles that pull the fibers together, allowing her to sculpt it. “Think of teasing your hair to create knots, only more permanent,” she explains. “I have a variety of needles, which serve different functions, but the principle is the same.” For her more lifelike pieces, Gullon spends between 15 and 20 hours working her needles into the fiber. “My style of needle felting involves making the wool very dense to allow for more details, which is extremely time-consuming,” she reveals. “Out of curiosity, I did the math, and this means for something I made in 20 hours, I stabbed it roughly 400,000 times!”
Scroll down to see some of Gullon’s impressive needle felted animals. If you want one of these cute creatures for yourself, you can shop Gullon’s one-of-a-kind collection on Etsy.