Felt the Grit!

I got a commission to make a needle felted Mr.Grit - Etsy's unofficial mascot, for Etsy's offices! He's my biggest needle felted piece so far, and I had a lot of fun making him. Corey and I decided to make a bust of him coming out of a frame, and I wanted to share some behind the scenes shots of the making of this wooly guy. Corey also added lights to give him glowing eyes!

First, I cut a sheet of foam into the shape of Mr. Grit's face for my base and started laying down white wool, and needle felting away. 

Once the face was done, I hot glued styrofoam balls to the base of the frame to fill in Mr. Grit's body. 

I keep a bag of fiber scraps under my desk and thought it was a good tine to pull them out to fill in the guts!  Then I needle felted flat "shingles" for Mr. Grit's body, and felted them into place. 

We decided to put the lights under the orange felted eyes, so I pulled them up and we stitched Flora Smart NeoPixel circuits with conductive thread onto the face. 

Corey did some testing to make sure everything was working before we closed the eyes up.

Everything's in order, so I needle felted the eyes back into place, being careful not to stab the circuits!

This is the back of the face, and Corey's connecting the power, ground, and data threads to separate coated wires so they don't touch each other. We don't want the uncoated conductive threads to touch each other  because it makes everything not work. 

 I'm using a knitting needle here to make a hole to feed the wires through to the back where they'll connect with the Electric Imp (a wireless micro-controller board).  

Wires successfully pulled through and Electric Imp in a cutout in the back.

And here is the finished piece! 

Here he is in place on the 4th floor of the 55 Washington St. office!