Plushroom Soup Interview and Plush Exclusive
This Wednesday, May 25th, is the release of Plushroom Soup's plush exclusive with Schmancy! Jessica has attended several Plush You! shows here in Seattle so it’s been great fun getting to know this fantabulous plush maker a little more in person. And I just learned a little more by conducting this interview. Enjoy!
S- What was your inspiration behind this exclusive?
PS- I wanted to make something that was quintessentially Plushroom Soup, but that I wouldn't be super sad about not being able to make again. So I started thinking about smaller, simpler things that I could zombify instead of critters, and then I realized that May is National Strawberry Month (who comes up with these things?!). I had only done one other food zombie before (Gingerbread Zombie), so it seemed perfect.
S- When did you start making toys?
PS- In about 2006. I was on the hunt for the perfect plush alpaca memento to represent my farm dream. When I couldn't find what I wanted, I decided to just make it myself. After dabbling with other farm animals, I soon started to turn my more bizarre imaginings into plush.
S- What has been your favorite part of being part of the plush community?
PS- The inspiration and friendship. I'm a proud member of the Plush Team, Etsy's best street team (not that I'm biased or anything). The amount of talent in this team is astounding. Everyone is so amazeballs at what they do. It constantly inspires me and pushes me to be the best plush-maker I can be. Plus, everyone on the team is so open, warm, supportive, and funny.
S- What's your sewing studio like?
PS- At the moment, it's a not-at-all-pretty craftplosion! I'm lucky/cursed to have a whole room in which to contain the crafting. I have many shelves filled to the brim with fabric and yarn, a small cutting table that is really just a clutter-catcher, and a larger desk for both my computer and my sewing machine. I have a large piece of peg board mounted on the wall behind my sewing machine, which keeps all my threads and often-used supplies tidy (in theory) and close at hand.
S- How often do you make stuff?
PS- I'm doing some type of crafty activity virtually every day, but that doesn't translate into one item made per day. I like to make stuff in a bit of assembly-line fashion. So one night I might just cut out a bunch of critters, the next I'll do the machine sewing, then the next I'll start stuffing them and doing the detail work. I have a full-time day job too, so I have to fit in all my plushing around that. I also like to knit and spin, so I try to fit those in here and there too.
S- What inspires you the most?
PS- If I had to pick just one thing, I guess I'd say books. I read all the time, and one of my favorite themes is modern twists on old faery tales and myths. But I’m also inspired by nature, bits of conversation with friends, pop culture, and even my customers who ask for the craziest-awesome custom orders.
S- Summer plans?
PS- I have a craft show coming up in June--the DIY Festival in Minneapolis--and I'll be teaching several needle-felting and plush-making classes at Crafty Planet, my favorite local craft store.
Not craft related, I'm getting more serious about making my farm dream a reality, so I'll spend a lot of time visiting farms and networking with farmers, volunteering my labor, and just absorbing everything I can.
And of course, there will be knitting, spinning, Rock Banding, gardening, canning, dog walks, and fun outings with my girlfriends--like Pedal Pub (if you've never heard of it, it's awesome and you should get one in your city--you pub crawl on a 15-person bike contraption that is itself a mobile pub).
PS- Wool felt--the 100% pure kind. It's so versatile, and I love that I can needle-felt details right into it. It allows me to create much more expressive characters than just flat sewing. That said, it's near impossible to find an affordable, reliable supplier of 100% wool
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