Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Behind the Scenes: the making of Stompy McThumperton by abbydid

Hello, kittens!  It's abbydid here, making my "birthday month" blog entry.  This means I can write about ANYTHING I want, so long as it is plush related.  This, quite frankly, is a little intimidating.  ANYTHING?  Honestly, this has been quite the year for me, as I was largely distracted from plush-making by a little art collective I got up and running here in Cincinnati.  But when I did finally get back into the swing of things, I went BIG.  



Meet Stompy McThumperton.  He is 4 feet tall, 5 feet wide, and 5 feet deep.  He is my largest monster yet.  I'd like to tell you a little about how I made him and what that entailed!  

First I'll tell you what he was for - Cincinnati Mini Maker Faire took place in October, and for it I wanted to really strut my stuff, since that's what Maker Faires are all about.  Go big or go home, right?  I took that literally.  

I procured a love seat from a fellow crafter friend and set about taking it apart.  All of the stuffing in Stompy's body comes from the couch.  In doing so I discovered the joys of the sawzall.

Safety first - proper  footwear and eye protection are always priorities.

Stompy without skin!  Freaky deeky.
Stompy's feet, otherwise knows as his "stompers," are repurposed trash cans covered in padding, felt, and vinyl.  His hands, aka "thumpers," are yoga balls.  The arms and fists took TEN FEET of felt.  EACH!  That's a lot of felt.  His eyes are repurposed snack bowls that I painted and glued large buttons to for irises.  
Look at those peepers!
A thumper.  I like using children for size reference.
A stomper.

Once I finally got started on him I sort of lived in the garage for a week and a half, putting in hours and hours everyday.  I machine sewed as much as I could, but ended up needing to hand stitch a lot of him together since I don't use an industrial sewing machine.  Quilting thread and a curved upholstery needle became my new best friends.  

Moments after he was finished this child just happened to step off of the school bus and wander into my garage.  She sat right down!  We've decided to keep her, Stompy has really become attached.

Most of my plush pieces have a pocket mouth, it's something i'm sort of known for in these parts, so I knew Stompy needed the mother of all pocket mouths!  My entire arm fits down that thing.  I've had multiple requests from people to put their babies in there.  Jeez, people.  He's not a babysitter!
Stompy holds a Maker Faire poster for us.  Thanks for helping, Stompy!

He turned out pretty fantastic, if I do say so myself, and he definitely helped me feel like I got my mojo back.  The folks who visited him at Maker Faire all seemed thrilled to meet him, despite the cold, wet day.  He warmed a lot of hearts!  He also had a snazzy robot friend, Mega Robotron, made by my bestie Tara over at Robot Inside to keep him company.  They had a BLAST.

It was so cold, and so wet, but Stompy smiled through it all!
From there he went to an exhibit at the Reed Gallery in the University of Cincinnati's DAAP.  They are hosting a special exhibit called INDIEpendent, displaying craft as art.  I got chills walking in and seeing him displayed in the corner.  It sort of reminded me of an Oldenburg soft sculpture.  He looks spiffy, don't you think?
Look!  He's ART!  
So, there you have it.  Stompy will be on display at DAAP until December 10, and then he'll come home to my art studio at Essex where folks can visit him during the quarterly art walks or by appointment.  In Cincinnati?  Come look us up:)  


ROBOT Inside said...

I love Stompy! and I love you! I feel pretty lucky to share a home with you two! (and Mega, too!)

abbydid said...

You are the best partner in plush a person could ever wish for, Miss Robot-on-the-Inside!

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