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This will be my last book review of 2013, and it's a nice note to end the year on indeed. Feltlicious is a collection of needle-felted food projects, and it's also an excellent vehicle for deepening your needle-felting skills to a truly artistic level.
This book is a collaboration: Kerri Wessel is the talented needle-felting artist, and Kari Chapin wrote the text. The book contains 32 projects in all, ranging from savories like bacon and cheeseburgers to fruits and veggies to candies and baked goodies.
(Just a random note: I'm really loving this visual table of contents.)
Feltlicious starts out with a very nice, clean visual orientation to needle felting, including tools and materials and basic techniques. This would be an excellent book for a beginning felter.
…But here's the detail that I think sets this book apart. Kerri not only pays attention to the forms of her sculptures, but she adds details of light and texture that really elevate them. In fact, it's taken me several trips through the book to tease out all the wonderful details of Kerri's approach.
These highlights, for example - they add so much realism to the felt, don't they?
Look closely at these berries, and you'll see that even the tiny seeds near the highlight point have their own highlights. This is what I mean about the book deepening your needle-felting skills. I mean, it's great to be able to create nice shapes in felt, but to add this kind of painterly touch is truly special.
Clearly, Kerri really pays attention – you know how, when you bake a cupcake, the oil from the batter will darken the paper liner near the bottom? She's reproduced that gradation in felt – and included the fluted outside!
There's also a lot of good instruction on blending wool colors to create realistic textures. I'm a fan in particular of that grilled cheese sandwich, both for the toasted surface and the tiny highlights on the cheese.
I should also mention that each individual project is presented as you see here - with step-by-step visual instructions, very easy to follow. Kari's writing is extremely clear and very friendly in tone. Mmmmmmm... Coffee.
At the end of the book is a short section showing you how to turn many of these little food items into other stuff, like jewelry and paper weights and pin cushions and decor. Which is a nice bonus.
I have a hoard of wool roving and felting needles, but I always get stumped when it comes to figuring out what to make. I think this book will be a good gateway for me, giving me a fun context for playing with basic and advanced techniques. Post book-deadline, I'll be poking me some wool!
Disclo-ho-ho-sures: Sixth & Spring sent me a review copy, and the title links above are affiliate links. And to all a good night.