120 Blind Mice
I was recently asked to make 120 felt mice to sprinkle in the Levi’s windows. Of course, I have never felted, so I knew this would be a good one. It was more challenging than inspiring, but both have a very similar/positive result.
I had never really given felt much thought, so I bought the materials and began researching. The process is actually pretty hysterical. Start with a clump of raw wool and, with a very fragile, long, and serrated needle, stab the clump repeatedly until the shape you want begins to form. I wish there was a better way to describe it, but that is really it. The serrated needle pulls the individual threads in and out and tangles them up, so that the more you stab, the denser the shape. (We had band aids on almost every finger by the end of day one).
We sat around the work table for about 2 weeks straight, stabbing ourselves and laughing about how even though each mouse was “the same,” they each ended up having their own personalities. The drunk one who would not sit straight, the obese one, stuck up, perfect, Roman, messy, high strung, heavy metal, you get the idea. It was weirdly easy to pick out the specific mice you made. I tried to go back and make them look more identical, but they ended up insisting on being unique.
My fantasy was to do a stop-motion photography video of the mob of mice doing a synchronized routine, but we finished the entire project 15 minutes before they had to get whisked off to FedEx and we hadn’t even started the choreography, so you get still shots.
Antlre mice for Levis windows (on an Antlre coatrack)
The difference is in the subtlety
So I have not become a master felter, but I WILL say that it is not very hard. Mostly, it’s pokey, wear metal armor, and drink as much wine as possible while stabbing.
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About Hannah Sitzer
Hannah Sitzer is the founder of Antlre Creative, a concept, design, development and manufacturing agency in San Francisco. She has also worked at many boutique companies producing award- winning retail props, environments, and branding projects.