creativiTEA: loving amy flynn’s fabulous fobots!

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Raleigh, NC artist Amy Flynn is passionate about shopping and making things.

Fantastic, funky, fine, futuristic, flamboyant, fetching, fierce, fanciful, quirky and wonky.

Amy Flynn’s amazing FOBOTS (Found Object Robots) are just plain fun! She scours the world for cool junk to create her one-of-a-kind sculptures, fascinating characters who go by such whimsical, punny names as “Biscotty,” “Boobarella,” “Dan Sedan,” “Robot Robama,” and “Scubi Dude.”

A freelance illustrator for 25+ years (greeting cards, children’s books, giftware), Amy shifted her focus to fobots when the economy tanked in 2008. She admits to always having a weird fixation for robots and loving flea markets, so why not exercise her creative muscle by doing something that truly makes her happy?

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“Family Out for a Stroll”

She lives in a 1920’s house and her first fobot was made from an original doorknob as well as other junk she found in her basement. Now, in addition to flea markets and scrapyards, Amy finds spare parts via internet auctions. She solders and bolts the pieces together and includes a numbered copper plate on the back of each sculpture. If the fobot opens, there’s a metal heart inside, just like the tin man.

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creativiTEA: stacy polson’s wild and wooly teapots

“If Ducks Joined the Circus”

Today’s spot of creativiTEA is brought to you by San Francisco-based artist Stacy Polson.

She created these needle-felted teapot sculptures for an exhibition at the Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge, MA. She chose “If Ducks Ran the Circus” as her theme for these beautiful and whimsical pieces.

“If Ducks Joined the Circus”

“The Extraterrestrial Way of Tea”
“The Catch of the Day”
“The Catch of the Day”

She initially got into needle felting while trying to re-create 17th century Japanese woodcuts in wool. I love the gorgeous colors and quirky details of her wool paintings. Isn’t it simply amazing what can be done with a needle, some wool, “a little determination,” and lots of imagination?

“The Parrots”
“Nikko and the Rooster”
“Yoki Goes Fishing”
“Falling Tomatoes”
“Mary and the Ducklings”
“Three Sisters” is available for purchase via RiverSea Gallery (click for info).

Stacy is self-taught and tells me she’ll be making more teapots, which makes me very happy indeed. 🙂

Peruse her website gallery and flickr photostream for more of her stunning work. Truly a feast for the eyes!

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Copyright © 2014 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

Indie Artist Spotlight: Patty of Dedalos Art Dolls

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Hanna the Writer Doll on a Bed of Roses

I first saw Patty’s lovely dolls several weeks ago when Etsy posted her enchanting stop motion video, “A Doll Making Story.” Instantly charmed, I was curious to find out more about the artist who was able to transform pieces of paper clay and scraps of vintage fabric into beautiful dolls with heart. All her pieces are handmade without the use of molds and are one of a kind.

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The mysterious Patty, who chooses not to divulge her surname or reveal her likeness in a photo, lives in Florence, Italy, surely one of the most beautiful cities in the world, known for its rich history, culture, art, architecture, and high fashion. Who would not be inspired to create some form of art when living in the birthplace of the Renaissance? I still sigh and swoon whenever I recall standing in the Uffizi Gallery gazing at Botticelli’s “Primavera.”

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“Brigitte”
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“Evelyne”
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“Apolline”

I’m sure you’ll enjoy meeting Patty, who, in addition to English, speaks Italian, Spanish, French, and a bit of Russian. She named her shop “Dedalos” (“maze”), after Daedalus, the first artist and artisan in Greek mythology who built the famous Labyrinth for King Minos in Crete. I’m always fascinated by how an artist can make a doll actually resemble a famous person yet still emanate her own trademark style.

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Indie Artist Spotlight: Stéphanie Kilgast of PetitPlat

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HELLO! BONJOUR! HALLO!

stephanie headshotYou’re just in time to meet Stéphanie Kilgast, the supremely talented artisan who creates all the amazing miniature food sculptures at PetitPlat. 🙂

A couple of years ago, while browsing for food art on Etsy, I chanced upon PetitPlat and instantly fell for Stéphanie’s meticulously crafted, truly splendid banquet of French pastries, breads, cookies, fruits, cakes and candies. The realism and level of detail were so incredible I couldn’t believe my eyes. How did she do it? I immediately ordered Oreo cookie and submarine sandwich earrings which arrived on my doorstep lickety split, and have had so much fun wearing them ever since.

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Stéphanie currently lives about 280 miles southwest of Paris. She was born in Frankfurt, Germany, speaks fluent French, English, and German, and has a Master’s degree in Architecture. While on summer break in 2007, a bored Stephanie looking for a new hobby discovered the world of miniatures and hasn’t looked back since.

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She hand sculpts and assembles all the jewelry and 1:12 scale dollhouse miniatures she sells from scratch. Her work has been featured in international publications such as the New York Times, The Telegraph, BBC Brasil, Europa and American Miniaturist, and just last year she exhibited her work in Hong Kong. Crafters who work with polymer clay will be happy to know Stéphanie is currently working on a bilingual French/English tutorial book, hopefully to be released in May.

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We thank Stéphanie for taking time from her busy schedule to tell us a little more about her love for food miniatures. Hers is a delightfully inspiring story of someone finding success by following her true passion, which is evident in every micro-mini baguette, St. Honoré, fruit tart, croissant and rainbow cake. She says colors and textures are her companions; “making you smiling and happy is the goal of my work.”

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Indie Artist Spotlight: Bossy’s Feltworks

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The Bossies: Kari Van Gelder, Mandy Troxel, and Amy Lum

Today I’m pleased and excited to welcome three very bossy artists to help launch my new Indie Artist Spotlight series!

Three is a good number, I think — three times the talent, beauty, spunk, ingenuity, and brilliance. Three times the luck, three times the inspiration for us all, and yes, three times the bossy craftiness. 🙂

Kari, Mandy, and Amy work together as a needle felting cooperative called Bossy’s Feltworks on Orcas Island, a 57-square mile creative Eden north of Seattle in Washington state.

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Valentine’s Pin Cushion featuring Suffolk lambs

If, like me, you love and appreciate the handmade and heartmade — you’ll enjoy hearing from this enterprising threesome who, back in 2006, took piles of fleece sheared from the sheep on Amy’s farm, gathered around the kitchen table with their five young daughters underfoot, and began fashioning colorful balls and adorable little white sheep.

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Basket of felted balls at the Orcas Island Farmer’s Market.
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Tools of the Trade: hands, wool, needles

In no time at all, they set off on regular flights of fancy, fueled by endless cups of tea and snacks (!), a shared love of children’s books, inspiration from a menagerie of pets and farm animals, and steadily built an enthusiastic customer base via Etsy and a local farmer’s market. Their felted critters are irresistible — not only well made, but infused with the good feelings of friendship, family, and the joy of maximizing what each is uniquely qualified to bring to the table. Thanks so much for visiting today, Bossy Ladies!

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