I want to introduce you to a wooly creature near and dear to my heart.
Meet Wantu the Wooly Wizard!
He has been a work-in-progress for quite some time and it feels so good to have him finished. (He was getting bored in my wool basket and was ready to head out into the world for some adventures!) He has been quite the project. I actually started needle-felting his face before Bracken was born. This winter, I found his little wooly face in my basket and looked into his sweet brown eyes. I knew it was time for this dear creature to be finished! So I started working on him bit by bit during Bracken’s naps. I added some more fluffy white wool to make his wonderful beard even longer. (The white wool for his beard came from Woolgypsy.) I love creating faces, but bodies are challenging for me because they take so long and I start getting restless. I knew Wantu needed a body, so I kept at it. Finally his body was made, completely by needle felting with some earthy-brown wool. Then came the fun part! I needle-felted him a hat worthy of a wizard. The lovely blue wool came from Inge and Wolf, of Timberwolf Farm. Inge dyed it with woad from her garden to make the gorgeous blue color. I had a small amount of it, so it felt special to use it. (Wantu was happy that I saved that special wool for him because he loves blue, it’s his favorite color- any shade it doesn’t matter.) Then I wrapped his body with some sturdy hemp fabric to make his robe (to hold up for all that traveling he’ll do.) I made him a blue cloak with a wool sweater I felted (from the thrift store that had moth holes in it- what a great way to re-use it.) All throughout the process, I delighted in watching him come to life.
But he wasn’t quite finished… he needed a wizard staff and a wizard pipe! That’s where Jeff came in. Jeff was so excited to make Wantu some accessories. He carved a staff for him out of reclaimed ironwood, with some rune-like symbols carved along it, and a crystal to complete the top. Then he carved him the cutest little wizard pipe out of reclaimed mountain mahogany wood. We attached Wantu to a wood base of redwood burl that Jeff found many years ago. Finally, I added the finishing touches: a wooden button on the front of his cloak (mostly covered by beard, but essential anyway) made from reclaimed birdseye maple burl wood. Then I put a feather on his hat (a rooster feather from one of our roosters a few years back), attached it with grey wool, and completed it with a small button made in reclaimed western red cedar.
And Ta-da! Wantu was finished!
I brought him outside in the sunshine and in my excitement, we had quite the long photo shoot. I just couldn’t stop snapping pictures of him, all the angles were important to get the full effect. (I lifted his long beard in a few to show the maple button.) A lot of time and energy went into making him and I felt so proud. Jeff and I were beaming. Bracken kept pointing to him in excitement.
Wantu is rather quiet and contemplative most of the time, but when he speaks in his low soothing voice, it’s worth listening to. He takes his time expressing himself, to let the thoughts form, so you must be patient- you’ll be glad you were. He is deeply rooted to the earth and spends all his time outside (he prefers sleeping under a sky full of stars, with the ground for his bed.) He loves to observe the world around him and soak up new sights and places. He’s happiest when he’s traveling. And he’s quite fond of being barefoot.
He has a very mellow disposition and a delightful sense of humor- his laugh is quite jovial. He makes his decisions based on what his heart feels is right and isn’t afraid to part from the crowd. When he finds himself in a quandary and needs to think about something, he walks and walks until an answer comes. There is a depth in his eyes and he is the most loyal friend. He’s wise, grounded, practical, methodical and good at noticing what others overlook. He spends most of his time on walk-about.
He is Wantu. A wonderful, wonderful world-wandering wizard.
And I certainly believe the world is a better place with him in it.
We love having him around here. But Wantu is a traveling wizard and he is ready to embark on his next adventure. So, I’ve posted him here in the shop, where he’s waiting for his new home.