Hazel Dormouse

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

I have just finished my third design for my AW15 card collection, and here it is; The Hazel Dormouse. I am very pleased with the final result ready to be Screen Printed next week. I decided to incorporate a suggestion of a nest in the background with this one, but I was careful not to overcomplicate it.

I like to know as much about whatever I am drawing. I study them visually ; from the direction of their fur, the shape of their paws, to the knobbly bit's on their feet, but, I also like to get to know about their character. It's like, if you are doing a portrait, you like to get to know that person to stand the best chance in capturing that 'Something' about them.

Hazel dormice are notoriously shy, introverted and nocturnal creatures with a love to Hazelnuts, hence their name. In fact their latin name avellanarius means 'Hazel'.

Speaking of hazelnuts did you know that it takes a dormouse 20 minutes to open one? Talk about making a meal of things! They open the nuts by making a small opening with their teeth, going on to enlarge it by turning the nut round and around (like a very slow can opener!) eventually scooping the nut out. The results of this technique are rather beautiful hollow shells. It also take them up to 20 minutes to wake up if roused from sleep too, so it sounds like a pretty relaxed life right?

Unfortunately not, the hazel dormouse is in danger of extinction due to changes in woodland management, farming practices and loss of hedgerows. The solution? Supporting conservation charities like The Woodland Trust, who fight to protect ancient woods and restore the ones that are already damaged. For more information please visit their website : www.woodlandtrust.org.uk

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