This was my next felting project – a spectacled bat. He is a type of “flying fox” which is a group of old world bats. The old world has cuter bats than the new world. And they’re also bigger – at least some of them. I read somewhere before that 1/4 of the world’s mammal species are bats, and now I’ve read it in one of the bat rescue hospital websites, so I assume that it’s true – an amazing! I was inspired to do a little research on bats after seeing bats in the dusk sky here several days in a row.
The hardest part of this project was designing the wings. I ended up taking my first effort apart and redesigning the armature. It would have been nice to use a more luxurious fabric for the wings, such as silk or silk velvet. But I ended up using “performance fabric” – a fabric that I assume is for sports clothing – for two reasons. The first was that it stretches along the selvage, across the selvage, and diagonally. I thought that the “give” would be necessary in posing and re-posing the wings. The second reason was that I knew I would be stabbing through it with the felting needle since it is attached to the body all along the sides. I considered a jersey, but rejected it because I thought it might run if I stabbed it wrong. And I rejected the silk because it didn’t stretch.
The performance fabric has a subtle sheen which I think is appropriate for the skin covering the wings and, all in all, I’m happy with the choice.
One thing I wish I had done was provide a way to hang him – something that would attach to the armature for strength. If I make another bat, I’ll have to solve that problem.