To answer my own question. No. A textile dog trophy is not too weird. It’s fun! A real stuffed dog head would make me a little uncomfortable though…
I got the idea to make a dog trophy and the thought would not leave me alone. I just had to make one. I chose the English bull terrier as they have such characteristic faces that would suit the needle sculpting technique. I spent a lot of time when I was little with 2 bull terriers, they were always so sweet, loving and wilful!
I started by studying lots and lots of photos. The eyes were going to be crucial to get right. Bullterriers have these wee eyes that are almost triangular in shape. So that’ where I started. I work with fabric and stuffing and don’t have a structure inside. I find the work fascinating, trying to vision the shape of the finished piece and slowly work my way there. I cut free hand, don’t have any patterns and this makes every piece completely one of a kind. I couldn’t make two the same even if I wanted to!
Using textile paint I added the pink shades and dark brown flecks. I embroidered the mouth using cotton thread. The nose I made from faux leather and I chose a webbing dog collar so this dog is a vegetarian trophy. For the shield it is mounted on I chose a rectangular piece of wood and after asking my likers on Facebook which material they thought would suit we decided on this up-cycled checked wool. It brings my mind to Burberry coats and walks in the rain – perfect for an English breed. To finish off the piece I ordered a brass dog tag inscribed Characters by Julia.
I hope you like it! xx