Trained as graphic designer, Freda Cheung has gone analog and sculpts leather creatures by hand. “I’ve always been interested in the ocean,” she tells Frankie Magazine. “Some of my digital artwork shares the ocean theme. Then I saw other artists making animals from felt, and wanted to make my own sea creatures in leather.” To produces her octopuses, crabs, and lobsters, their patterns are pieced together and secured with whip stitches. Some, like the tiny whales, are quirky brooches. Others are larger and sturdy enough to stack on top one another—for extra fun.
Maybe you don’t have a green thumb and all your plants eventually wilt. You know what? That’s okay. Because thanks to the mushroom felt crafts by Close Call Studio, you can still have something life-like in your home. Amanda Adams, the illustrator and sculptor behind Close Call, creates playful plants and vegetables that are an eye-catching fusion of crafted nature with a piece of the real outdoors. She hand-sews and mounts small fungi, colorful blooms, and prickly cacti on a slice of hand-cut wood. The result is a unique homage to nature that brings the beauty of the outdoors inside—but no extra care required.
Hiné Mizushima (previously) creates a fantastical world of out of felt. Using that, as well as other materials like beading, she produces portraits of beetles, cephalopods, and clams. Each of her colorful has an astounding level of detail, and her felt crafts go beyond your typical representation of these creatures. Rather, through her series The Anatomy of, she shows us what’s inside.
Fiber artist Jill Ffrench crafts felted bird sculptures that pay homage to their voluptuous plumage. Using 100% pure felt, she stitches the hand-held creatures and adheres them with embroidery thread, wire, and wax. When complete, the soft figures don ornamental long, tails, which feature a combination of layered felt and decorative stitches to produce a spectacular effect. (The detail shots are my favorite.)
If you feel comforted by tiny animal companions, then RamaLama Creatures is going to make you real happy. Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, the adorable polymer sculptures are hand painted with a ton of intricate detail and finished with a glossy varnish.
Raminta is the lady behind RamaLama creatures, and she’s always had a fascination with the beauty of nature—her childhood was spent on the Baltic Sea shore. After graduating with a degree in photography, she dedicated herself to “mastering skills and perfecting design” of her characters. It usually takes days to create a single animal.
Happy Halloween! I am a big fan of the holiday (because, candy) but never really made an elaborate costume before—until this year. Finally , I got my act together and worked on an outfit months and months beforehand (I’m a marathoner, not a sprinter).
I’m a bouquet of flowers!
To produce this project required a lot of felt and hot glue. It was time consuming, but not difficult. (Process-oriented people, you’d probably enjoy making this costume.) Basically, it’s a green hood (made from felt) with a bunch of handcrafted felt flowers glued on top and around the crown of the base. These are the tutorials I used:
They’re super easy to follow and well-documented so that you can follow along. I wish I had an excuse to make more! After the flowers were assembled, arranged, and glued, I wrapped tulle around the hood to create the appearance of tissue paper. I completed it by tying it with a coral-colored bow.
I tried to get a picture with my little baby Sadie. She was not pleased.
Artist Jessie Cunningham invites us to “Step past your porch light and into the wilds with my soft sculpture creations.” Through her shop (aptly) called Past Your Porchlight, she fashions tiny bears that carry the weight of the world on their backs. This isn’t a burden to the gentle giants—they tote their tiny friends who regal them with stories as they travel. “In all of their journeys, this worldly pair knows best that life is better when you share it with friends. ”
To create these charming felted creatures, Jessie hand stitches the bear and sculpts, sands, and primes the other elements. They “fare best on a shelf or desktop, somewhere to safely bring a bit of nature indoors.”
See all of Jessie’s felt handiwork in the Past Your Porchlight Etsy shop.
Elizabeth Beer & Brian Janusiak are the masterminds behind Various Projects, Inc. a multidisciplinary creative collaboration that started in 2005. One of their ongoing projects is called Birdwatching, and it’s a cuddly homage to our feathered friends. The first subject was a hand-knit pigeon, but it only grew from there. Now, there’s an “ever-growing flock of state and regional birds.” The Blue Jay, Cardinal, Carolina Wren, and Mourning Dove are just some of the charming soft sculptures available in their Project No. 8 online shop.
This past spring, I marveled over illustrator Kim Sielbeck’s tiny paper cacti with their bold colors and charming patterned pots. So, when I was in the midst of planning Inside / Outside at Flower Pepper Gallery, I knew her work would be perfect for it. I was so happy that Kim agreed and created a host of new plants—some large and some small—just for the show.
The pieces seen here are now available through Flower Pepper Gallery’s website. If you’ve been thinking about buying her work—do it! The cacti are even more delightful in person. And if you’re someone with a brown thumb, you still reap the benefits of some green without the fear of them wilting.
In 2014, Lucy Sparrow filled an abandoned corner shop in London’s East End with 4,000 hand-sewn groceries—think canned beans, packs of gum, and magazines—in a site specific fiber installation. A smashing success, she’s bringing this caliber of exhibition to New York City and using Kickstarter to help fund it.
Lucy’s project—a TBA location (probably) in Manhattan—is slated to open in the summer of 2017. It will be called Eight Till Late, and it’ll be double the size of her London shop: 8,000 items that include a hot counter selling the likes of pizza slices and hot dogs. I’m most excited, however, by the slushy machine—Lucy plans to fill it with beads! In addition, people will be able to buy felt fruits and veggies akin to going to an actual grocery store.
There’s currently a Kickstarter campaign happening to pay for half of the production costs, and it’s well on its way. Check it out and pick yourself up a pack of gum while you’re at it. (via The Guardian, H/T Lisa)
Here’s how Lucy’s London exhibition looked (via The Guardian):