I studied sculpture (along with printmaking, drawing and painting) in college, and I still love working in 3-D. In Indiana where I went to school, limestone was free for intrepid sculptors willing to haul away surprisingly heavy stones from the fringes of reservoirs. I sculpted a lot of stone with chisels, hammers and files.
I carved plaster, hand-built terra cotta,
I even welded steel! I glued slabs of basswood together to make a block from which I carved a Venus-of-Willendorf-type figure (which someone thought was a naked baby as I carried it cradled in the crook of my elbow walking back to my apartment at the end of the semester.)
I know a lot of artists are creating figures in wool with the needle felting technique, but I have always been drawn more to abstracted images. I have preferred to craft the symbol of a flower rather than a realistic flower with accurate petals and stamen. Around Christmas someone requested a mouse so I made a few stylized mice:
And then recently, I wanted to make a gift for someone and I knew they liked dogs so I tried my hand at this:
I worked entirely from my imagination and enjoyed it. I'm very pleased with the results and am excited to try more (Chet, you're next!)