All tapir calves have spots and stripes. These markings help them blend into their surroundings so predators won’t catch them easily. It also makes them gorgeous!
This bold fashion statement is the biggest challenge when needle felting these little ones. Here I’ll show you what this baby tapir looked like before the patterns were added.
A little strange and naked looking, isn’t it? Let’s get those fancy duds on!
Much better! The time and effort to make those spots and stripes was completely worth while.
These wonderful animals are endangered and vulnerable. For any new orders I receive for needle felting tapirs, I will donate a third to the Tapir Specialist Group who will use the funds to help protect and study tapirs all over the world.
I got another baby tapir commission. I LOVE making these little guys. They are so cute and each time I get to refine and distill the cuteness for overload…
This is the best one I’ve made yet! I’m very proud of not only the shape, proportion of leg to body and head size, but also the brown and black balance underlying the white spots and stripes. I mixed the brown roving (wool) with the black to get a nice dark brown and then really focused on getting the lighter brown on the cheeks.
There is a cost, however. Those dang spots really took forever! I thought my fingers would fall off! I had to redo one of the ears because the white spot on it was turning the black gray. It’s all about balance and finding the magic point at which the black is thick enough to sustain a white spot poking into it but thin enough to be a flexible little ear…
It’s a challenge. But one I delight in!
This little one now makes his home in Half Moon Bay, California with his lovely new owner.