Thursday, May 17, 2012

Constant state of confusion...

This is probably going to sound daft coming from someone who has written a whole craft pattern book, but in the light of the recent 'things I'm afraid to tell you' meme that has been doing the rounds, sometimes I just need to say out loud, that when it comes to my designs, it's a constant state of confusion.

Working at home, for yourself, on your own, can lead to over thinking rather than more concise decision making.  I also wonder if my background, having a degree in textile design and working in industry, is somewhat restrictive as it places my mindset within learned constraints.  As Picasso once said, 'every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist as you grow'.

Things I do know are, I have developed a design style, and I do enjoy using recycled materials much more than buying new fabrics to a point where I am totally out of the loop when it comes to the latest fabric lines, and I'm ok with that.  The indecision stems around this design style being too cute looking.  I see what I design and make as soft sculpture, objects of art - not soft toys.  The use of the word 'toy' scares me because of the health and safety issues.  But legally, regardless of how I personally perceive my work, if it looks like a toy, it is a toy.

The conclusion I think I've reached is to split my design work.  Some patterns are on their way to become available via PDF download.  They will stay 'cute', but also probably not use felted wool.  As much as I love that medium as it's easy to sew with and hugely forgiving when it comes to the odd mishap, I am lucky to have amassed a bit of a collection over the years in my stash.  It does seem second hand, true woolens are becoming harder and harder to find.  The patterns I'm going to keep to make myself will begin to go on a development journey.  One which has already begun...


Last week I made a gift following the dog pattern I've used before, but as soon as I finished the face, I unpicked it all.  Referring back to the changes I'd made with the King Charles Spaniels, I began reworking.


 It's just a small change, and overall it's an ongoing process, but it's cathartic to be able to talk about this stuff rather than have it just swimming around in my head.  

 
I don't know if the changes made it better or worse, but I did feel happier with the finished softie once it was done. Any suggestions on how to make a dog softie, more dog like are always welcome!

6 comments:

Jacqui said...

It's true, pure wool sweaters are rare these days! A sad commentary on the decline of wool in general actually - though why anyone would want to wear acrylic is beyond me!

For dogs, I always think of them as having squarer muzzles, sort of like a tapered rectangular box. The nose sits at the top of the front-facing smallest side. I don't know where the mouth goes in that scenario though! For categorising stuffed animals in general though, I've noticed that my daughter (and probably me) often go by the shape of the ears, which is why your dog above looks like a dog and not a fox. But if it had pointy ears it would be a fox.

Jodie said...

I know just what you mean, I drive myself batty overthinking things and wonder how I can fit all the other not-so-toyish things in that I want to try. Maybe we need a support group. my family are so sick of me asking their opinions."it's fine" is the conyinued singular response these days....
For the record I love the new nose.

My Little Corner said...

I like the re-worked face, but only because I have something to compare it too. I agree that we all need someone to help us decide, but there's nothing wrong with posting (like you just did) and asking your readers for help - we'd love to give you the support you want/need! Thanks for sharing, your creativity is inspiring

money8869 said...

What a cute meme. I'm pretty sure my daughter will love this if i'll let her see this.
dribbling the ball

Helena said...

I liked both versions, both prefer the latter as a dog face, as I always asscoiate dogs as being more snouty than cats. So maybe the first face would suit a cat!

I know what you mean about overthinking or overworking htings. I do this with painting and drawing. Sometimes it helps to walk away and make some tea, then look at the piece in a mirror. If it IS ok, then it will look ok in the mirror too. But if there is something wrong, something you can't quite put your finger on, it will show up in the mirror as something really obvious.
This works with pictures, I don't know if it worls with 3D work. Try it and see!

Rest assured, you definitely DO have YOUR OWN style, and they all look lovely :)

hugs, tea and cake!

littlewrenpottery.co.uk said...

I agree your work does have a definate style! Maybe focusing on one particular breed of dog might help rather than trying to produce a generic 'dog' style?