Thursday, April 8, 2010

HOUSECALLS: Kate from Girl Savage

You know when you see a particular piece of crafted art whenever you browse design blogs, or look at images of people's houses and you just keep thinking, "I have to have one of those"? Well, the appropriately named "Feltidermy" by Girl Savage was precisely one of those things I kept seeing and just had to have.

My very own Jackalope Feltidermy, presiding over some of my favourite Etsy loves.

Working with the artist behind the name, Kate Savage, to create my very own feltidermy jackalope was a pleasure, and the finished product so perfect that I have had to restrain myself from filling my wall with more. One day soon! Girl Savage is a perfect example of the uniqueness of the handmade market. Kate has carved out her own little creative niche and I know you will love her work as much as I do. So, over to her hometown of Chicago to learn more...

Kate Savage of Girl Savage

Describe the work that you do? "I hand stitch wool felt into stuffed animals and faux taxidermy which I call feltidermy."

What was the career/education path you took to get to this point? "I didn't have a real clear path that lead me here. I took as many drafting, shop and art classes in high school as I could. I didn't go to art school after high school, instead I went to cosmetology school and worked a hair stylist for eight years. The plush started three years ago in 2007 when I decided to make plush bunnies for Easter gifts. After the bunnies I designed a squirrel, then a deer... The plush started to take over our little apartment and a few friends, some of them from getcrafty, mentioned that I should open an Etsy shop."

Pewter, The Tiny Squirrel Felt Plush

"I went on etsy and did countless searches to see if anyone was making anything quite like I was. At that time no one was stitching wool felt, by hand and letting their stitches show. I decided it was worth a try and started taking photos and taking measurements of my plush. Feltidermy came about by a strange request from a music video producer. I was contacted and asked if I could make a mounted moose head that could be puppeted from behind to lip sync to music. While I actually thought it was not such a weird request, but the fact that it would need to be in Los Angeles, CA 4 days from then was way out there too me. I hadn’t even thought about the mechanics of the whole thing…A pattern would have to be developed, mounting would need figuring out…Let alone the whole puppetry aspect. I decided I had to try to make one, not a puppet version, just mounted. I loved the idea of a mounted felt stuffed animal head! After 2 weeks of trouble shooting and figuring out how to mount it securely, I had my first feltidermy finished!"

Jackalope 25 Feltidermy

Where do you get your inspirations? "Nature, cartoons and the wildlife wing at the Field Museum."

Three Blind Mice 4 Feltidermy

Describe the creative process in designing and constructing a particular piece? "My creative process is like; Oh, that would be fun to try to make....I like these colors together, I'm going to try it!"

Haha, I love the sheer spontaneity and fun of Kate's process!

Bunny Rabbit 70 Feltidermy

Where do you create your work? "I have various spots in our home where I get my work done. I store all my supplies in a large dresser, in our dining room, that we saved from a street corner 3 years ago. All of my stitching, since I'm not tied to a sewing machine, is done from our couch.

Where the Magic happens! The stitching couch!

"I like to be able to curl up with my stitching, watch a movie and really enjoy the creating. All of my photo editing, listing and blogging is done from my little desk in our home office that I share with my husband who also works from home."

Would you share with us some of your favourite artisans whose work you admire? "Oh, it's really hard to list just three! Kit Lane, Lou Lou and Oscar, Dance Sippy Dance"

"Margot's Misadventure" Cat Plush by Lou Lou and Oscar

"Pennette the Jacabob" by Kit Lane

"Emmy" Polymer Clay Sculpture by Dance Sippy Dance

Where can we find your work? Girl Savage on Etsy

Betsy the Etsy Obsessed Jackalope Plush

Bunny Rabbit Wearable Feltidermy

What/who are the things you love most in your life? "I have a lot to be thankful for in my life. I enjoy hanging out with my best friend (my husband). I love to spend time in the kitchen playing with new recipes and attempting perfect old ones. We spend a lot of time taking our dog for walks around our neighborhood. When I can I love visiting my family, I'm one of 6 kids & we can laugh for hours!"

Beluga Whale Feltidermy

Racoon Feltidermy

What would you do “in your wildest dreams”, if there were no restrictions (like money, or responsibilities!)? "Live in a sweet little cottage on a private beach somewhere. We could spend our days playing with the dog in the surf, grilling out and enjoying life."

What is your greatest professional achievement? "Being able to work from home and enjoy what I do. Sometimes I just sit back and giggle that I actually get to spend my day doing this. How many people can answer the question; "what did you do today?" with, "I made a pink and purple unicorn!""

Unicorn Feltidermy

What is new with you and your work? "I'm constantly thinking up new animals, real and unreal to make up patterns for. Recently I did a collaboration with my husband, Shannon, based on one of his paintings.

Alien Monster Feltidermy Collaboration

"He helped me work out the pattern and painted the plaque for me, I did all the stitching and mounting."

Do you have a motto for life? "Not really a motto, I just try to enjoy life for what it is and be thankful for what I have."

Want to see more of Kate's work? Hop on over to Flickr to have a look at the incredible collection of Feltidermy and Felt Plush she has amassed. Great inspiration for anyone wanting one of Kate's unique pieces for themselves, and let's face it, who doesn't? The only problem is how do you choose which one?! You just can't help falling in love with these exquisite creations.

1 comment:

  1. hahahahahaaaaaa.
    Sarah, you always find the most fabulous things. Hell, those animals here make me burst out laughing. Look at the racoon. Haha. I love them!!


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