Wednesday, October 12, 2011

plush you...

Humpback Whale

Humpback Whale

this friday october 14, from 5-9pm, is the opening of plush you at schmancy in seattle. i hope you'll stop by if you are in the area. i believe it runs for a few weeks, so even if you can't make it to the opening perhaps you can visit later on. it sounds like there will be an amazing array of plush creatures from a talented and varied group of artists. i feel very honoured to be a part of it. and i'll be there in person, should you want to say hello!

with the show only a couple days away, i wanted to show you my pieces for the show. with a limit of only three pieces, i decided to keep them all ocean themed, and i suppose that is what folks tend to associate me with more than anything (although i have been feeling the pull of land creatures a lot lately). but back to what i have here - three giants of the ocean depths, each in their own way. above is a humpback whale, quite similar to the ones i have made before. however, i did a lot more surface stitching and patchwork on this fellow, in part because i was trying to make the underside colouring closer to the real thing, with patches of white silk on the underside of the tail and fins, and mottled white spots along its belly. it is hard to see in the second photo, but the sashiko-style stitching is done in both white and with bits of blue here and there, to continue the blend between the dark and light sections.

Stellar Sea Lion

Stellar Sea Lion

my second piece is a stellar sea lion. again, something you have seen before, but i am continuing to refine the shape and look of these beasts. another common theme of these three pieces, and really all of my work, is extensive surface stitching to add detail and character. this bull sea lion has a thick wool ruff around his neck for warmth while swimming the north pacific, using a mix of natural dyed and repurposed wools.

Pacific Giant Octopus

Pacific Giant Octopus

this last beast was my biggest challenge so far (who decided octopuses should have so many legs??!!), but i hope you guys like the results. this pacific giant octopus (who is not all that giant) is layered with red cotton and hand dyed linen that is heavily stitched to help create the bumpy texture of their skin. while i was working on this guy, i stumbled upon an episode of the nature of things that was fittingly about octopuses. i proceeded to sit in wonder for an hour, amazed at how smart these creatures are. seriously, i could start rambling to you about all the things they show them doing (as i did to anyone i talked to for the rest of that day), but we'd be here forever. i always knew they were incredible animals, but i have an even deeper appreciation for them now.

all three creatures of the deep will be available at the show, or if you have a deep (haha!) desire for one you can contact kristen at schmancy about presales. anything that doesn't sell during the show will also be listed on her website afterward. or you can contact me at fogandswell [at] gmail [dot] com about a custom made beast just for you!

the sun is shining here and it looks to be a lovely autumn day. hope you're enjoying mid-October where you are too!


Caitlin said...

I wish I could stop by to see your show but a trip to Seattle is not in the cards any time soon. :)
The octopus is beautiful~ I imagine the legs kept you busy for awhile...
I watched that episode of The Nature of Things to (as well as any documentary about octopi, squid and cuttlefish that I can) and they are one of the most fascinating and adaptive animals I have ever learned about. So intelligent, and I was surprised to learn that not only can they change colours, but textures as well.
Best of luck with the show, it sounds very interesting and I am sure you will have many new admirers of your art.

kate said...

Oh I love the octopus! I had great fun with octopus at the Bamfield Marine Station once, learning about their intelligence and cunning.

Your whales, however, always steal my heart.

Margie Oomen said...

your soft art is so amazing
I think all the stitch details and hand dyed fabrics make them extra, extra special.
Have fun in seattle!!

Kate said...

My marine-obsessed son has The Blue Planet on repeat at the moment so the octopus episode you mention sounds like a must for us. Your creatures are so characterful and beautifully detailed (those barnacles!) Enjoy the show.

Roslyn said...

They are incredible. I love them all, I don't think I can choose a favourite. Such amazing detail.

Kathryn said...

Definitely inspired by boro! Love the work, that octopus must have been a challenge to make!

Unknown said...

Is there any way I could get the pattern for this octopus? I have been searching for a pattern for a realistic looking octopus (all of them seem to look cutesy) to make for a friend.

k said...

Sorry Serenity - I would not feel comfortable sharing my 'patterns' (and I mean that in the very loosest terms) with others in large part because there wouldn't be any real instructions or directions to follow - just a very vague idea of how I put them together.