If you sew, you know how vital the pin cushion is. We’re often so used to the standard tomato, but there’s ways to make the practical tool both fancy and fun—thanks to illustrated ceramics. And Erin Paisley does just that with her bespoke pin cushions.
Erin’s production process looks like this: she first hand builds the form—either a woman or animal—out of earthenware clay. After it’s painted, glazed, and fired, she adorns the figure with a tight black wool bun stuffed with wool roving. The pin cushion part looks like hair, so the more pins you stick in, the more bejeweled her bun looks.
Over a year ago, I first marveled at the curious work of Vancouver-based illustrator Julia Iredale. Her surreal illustration style fuses landscapes and figures into singularly compelling scenes. While Julia hasn’t departed from her visual language, she’s continued to refine it with a new body of work. Rather than creating full-bleed illustrations, she plays raw edges to produce pieces that deftly convey lucid dreaming and memories you can’t quite shake.
Embroiderer Sam Eldridge stitches jungles, gardens, and floral bouquets on thrifted garments. The colorful creations breath new life into these second-hand pieces and give them a fresh feel by transforming them into one of a kind pieces. Her embroidered clothing follows a long tradition of repairing a garment rather than outright disposal. Long ago, before the atomization of the Industrial Revolution, people would mend their clothing over and over again, because each piece was so expensive to make in the first place. That’s not really a concern today, of course, but Sam is engaging in the same idea—create a new twist on something old and extend its life for the wearer.
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.
Juliette Sallin, aka Gang of Freyja, is an illustrator and cut paper artist who works on a miniature scale. She’s recently created a series of “pocket talisman,” which feature stylized hands and paper flowers encased in small glass jars. The exquisite creations are small enough to fit between two fingers—and put in your pocket for good luck. “I like to think of my paper cuts as tiny treasures that reveal a secret we all carry deep inside,” she says. “[That] our innate relationship with our world is lighthearted and sensuous.”
Yesterday, I wrote about the ambitious #100dayproject of Cheryl Teo—she’s in the midst of building vibrant cut paper scenes on matchbook-sized stages. Illustrator Lee May Foster-Wilson, aka Bonbi Forest, is also completing this hundred day endeavor. She’s going the 2D route, however, and designed a project around celebrity animal puns. Justin Beaver, Spaniel L. Jackson, and Llama Del Rey are just a few of the “punny” creatures that she’s drawn.
If you’ve read Brown Paper Bag for a while, you already know that I’m a big fan of 100 day projects. I love the dedication that comes with it, as well as the creative magic that can happen when you explore a single topic in so many ways. Over the next two days, I’ll share a couple of 100 day projects that have recently caught my eye.
It’s the final stop on my unofficial “Instagram tour” that highlights some of my favorite feeds worth your follow. So far, I’ve highlighted paper artists, illustrators, embroidery artists, and sketchbooks that are inspire me—and others—with their incredible artistry. Last but not least, I’m chronicling some of the best ceramic artists on Instagram.
1. Botanica mug by Bonnie Hislop
2. Calathea plant embroidery pattern by NaNee Hand Embroidery
3. Fibuloso Lauro brass brooch by Marta Lugo Jewels
4. Terrarium enamel pin by oh no rachio!
5. Lovebirds bracelet by SANKTOLEONO
6. Llama planter by Savage and Bloom
7. GIRLBO$$ scarf by Bodil Jane