Akhenaten’s Face – Yet Again

Needlefelting A Different Way
Needlefelting A Different Way

Having found the last attempt didn’t result in quite what I was aiming for, I tried a new approach.

This time I took the outline of the face from the main piece, and needlefelted around it to get the shape to fit. Then I tried to get the features in place again, but having learnt from last time, I tried to leave the felt padding a little softer so as to be a bit easier to embroider. When I was trying the wet-felted versions to be further needlefelted, I used several different wools to see whether it made a difference, but with my level of inexperience, it didn’t, so this time I just used the first that came to hand.

Face In Progress
Face In Progress

Then I stretched silk over the top and began to stitch again.

When I tweeted this picture in a frustrated I’ve-had-enough-of-him pause, one of my friends replied “It’s Cassandra O’Brien!”. Which gave me a much-needed giggle – although I have a lowering feeling that Akhenaten and Cassandra might have got along quite well. Not necessarily the most admirable of people, either of them.

And don’t my lovely copper/rose-gold headed pins disappear beautifully against the fabric!

Face In Place
Face In Place

This looks rather better, I think.

I would have been happier if I could have made the brow heavier, and the nose more forward, but by now I feel I’m entering a world of diminishing returns, and may even start to make negative progress, which would be disheartening to say the least.

Now to see how this face copes with all the fuss of headdress and accessories…


  1. A half finished face always looks strange, I find it all the time when I am working on my stumpwork portraits. Once the features are done, you can sit down and be very pleased with yourself for a job well done.

  2. I think you have done rather well with this one Rachel! The elongatedness and the stare are just perfect.

  3. Personally, I like it. He is starting to look real. Well, you know what I mean.

  4. Lady Fi says:

    Good luck!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    wow, major improvements are made, Rachel … hope you had a moment of YES! … :-))

  6. Catherine says:

    It’s quite interesting seeing the various iterations this poor mans head has gone through! I have to say, I quite like this one 😊

  7. karen says:

    well I think it’s wonderful…don’t be so hard on yourself.

  8. Jen Mullen says:

    Poor Akhenaten has been through a great deal of painful surgery. Finally, he looks satisfied. 🙂

  9. Sue Jones says:

    I think you’ve cracked it this time. Much better features, the mouth is less twee, and those imperious eyes will hold their own however much headdressification gets applied later.

  10. Sheryl says:

    Such patience you have Rachel, I hope this one will be The one.

  11. Terrie says:

    Very unique. Facial expression is difficult to do. You made it.

  12. Carolyn Foley says:

    Good result here.