Monday, September 17, 2007

Plush me?!

Well, it is (finally) time I Plush You, isn't it? You might have seen most of my plushin' shenanigans on my Flickr already, and yet, I didn't yet Plush myself to You (I'm having way too much fun with this...).
So yeah, I made it into this years show, which I'm completely and untterly amazed at, especially considering what I submitted in application. You may not know this about me, but I'm a terrible critic and pretty much hate everything I do as soon as I finish drewing/sewing/knitting it (with rare exceptions - I still love Jimmy the cat to death and miss him a lot). And I was planning on doing something completely different for the show, still very "me", but different.
I've been interested in doing more of "art plush" for quite a while now, ever since I sew Anna Chambers' plush a few years ago, I've been fascinated with toys that, while not playable and therefore somewhat "anti-social" are just made for the visual pleasure of shape, color and personality. Plush that's made with higher grade materials, with techniques that don't need to be child safe, that are truely one-of-a-kind and therefore have a much greater value emotionally. So that's what I've decided to make for the show. A set of three "art plush".

In terms of materials, I swapped the fleece I was already sick of, with wool-viscose blend felt. I bought a bunch of different colored sheets a few months ago to get me inspired. Man, this material is amazing (I can't even imagine what the 100% wool is like, drool!)! The texture is so rich, sewing it is so much fun. Sigh... Good move, why oh why did I wait do long to experience thy charms? Of course I used a lot of patterned cottons too (especially after the stash re-build of a couple of months ago. There was a tragedy involving some not so well guarded fabric and two vicious cats that resulted in massive casualties and a run to the local fabric store), but since color + patterns = me it's not really surprising.

First, there was Libby:

I like Libby. She's very simple yet cute. I had a bit of an accident while washing her (red dyed anything will bleed. When am I ever going to learn that, eh?) which rendered her not show material. Ant is happy about it, though. He wishes I didn't have to sell any of my plush at all. Yep, he's a good purchase.

Then, there was Alex:

Alex was using the same pattern as Libby and I was ok with him for a while. The eyes were a big seller for me. I like making more flat, more "drawn on" eyes. But then... there was Audrey:

She's still my favorite. With her I really pushed the "drawn on" eye idea to the max, and the natural felt totally lets you do it! It takes fabric glue really well, and when you poke it and mush one layer of felt into the other, they felt into each other a bit too. It's quite amazing, actually. After I made her, only a month left before the submission deadline,I had to make my other two submissions more like her (so Ant gets to keep Alex too). Introducing - Arthur and Adrian (yeah, their names are coordinated, I think it's funny):

Arthur was quite a bit of a pain to sew, between the giraffe mane and the weird head shape. In the end I feel like I winged it a bit, but I like the way it came out. And finding a color scheme for Adrian that will match both Audrey, Arthur and a raccoon was a challenge too, which resulted in (yet another) trip to the fabric store.
So here they are, Audrey, Adrian and Arthur! In the end, sleepless nights, pricked fingers, anger directed at paper and fabric and lots of concern - I love them all. I think they came out really well and I seriously hope they'll do well at the show. It's going to be really interesting to see who's going to be their gallery-mates in October.

More photos of Audrey, Adrian and Arthur right here. Please wish them luck!

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At 5:43 PM, September 17, 2007, Blogger Anna said...

Wow these are so great, with so much personality! I just wish I could make it to the show to see them in person...

At 10:11 AM, September 18, 2007, Anonymous sarah said...

The giraffe is my favorite, but then again, giraffes usually are! I think they are all wonderful!

At 4:51 PM, September 19, 2007, Blogger Munchanka said...

Cool stuff, Mitch! You know what would be cool...a dinosaur (hint, hint!)

At 7:50 AM, September 20, 2007, Blogger Josh (musarter) said...

These are all really cool. I really like there expressions. Keep these coming, you have some great talent making these.

At 5:39 PM, October 01, 2007, Anonymous Tamar said...

Good luck!! They are WONDERFUL - the details are exquisite. Don't think I didn't notice those beautiful fabrics lining their ears. :)


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