Monday, September 13, 2010

Meet the Maker Monday: Patti Haskins

Meet Patti Haskins of This Texan critter-maker specializes in squishy-sweet cats ‘n dogs that stare dreamily into your eyes and beg to be taken home.

How do you make your critters, Patti Haskins?

I zig and zag between drawing and sewing my plush critters, or grabbing yarn and a hook and crocheting a critter.

Where did you learn your skills?

For as long as I can remember, my mom was a creator—sewing everything and anything. Her mother was never without an embroidery hoop, thread or yarn and crochet hook in her hands. They both taught me the skills I’ve been using since childhood.

Describe your workspace.

I am lucky to have attached to our house an enormous tiled sunroom to call my studio, with skylights and lots of windows. It's great in the winter. In the summer, I have to crank the a/c and keep the fans blowing. I do live in Texas. It gets hot here.

What inspires you?

My grandmother. She used to crochet us stuffed cats when we were kids. I, being the destructive child of course, do not have mine anymore. Crocheting cats is my way of trying to recreate my grandmother's cats of my childhood. I put my own spin on critter-creating and have expanded to dogs since my two terrier mutts demanded that I make dogs too. My six cats were quite happy with my cat creations, although they'd never admit it.

How do you promote your work?

I have accounts on Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, and post to them frequently. Also, I try to participate in the local farmer's market and other shows here in Dallas to get my name out there.

How do you fit plush-making into the rest of your life?

I have a day job as a graphic artist at a dental college. My nights and weekends are spent either creating critters, selling critters or watching one of my husband's bands perform. No kids, so we are pretty much free to be self indulgent.

Any dreams for new designs or projects?

I'm thinking of attempting a large crocheted critter. Very large. Still working that out in my head before I grab the yarn.

What advice can you give new plush designers?

Keep making mistakes. That's how you learn.

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