Wednesday, April 02, 2008

An interview with Abby Glassenberg!

Hi everyone! It's a beautiful day in Seattle today! Much better than the weird snow we've been having. Just wanted to let you all know there's a new interview with Abby Glassenberg over on the plush you interviews blog. She had some great things to say, so be sure to check it out. Here's a peek at what you're in for:

S- From what I observe, you’re an incredibly prolific plush talent.

AG- Thank you! I actually work more slowly now than I have in the past because each piece takes longer to complete.

S- On average how many pieces do you finish in a week?

AG- I usually make one complete sculpture every four or five days, depending on how much time I have to work. On most days I can squeeze in about two hours in the studio, but that can totally go out the window if one of my children is sick or school is canceled or something.

S- How long does it take you, from the initial concept to the finished product, to complete a piece? Can you give people a little bit of an idea of that process for you?

AG- If I am drafting a totally new pattern, starting from some photos and a sketch, it probably takes a few days longer than if I am making a bird that I’ve made before.

S- Your work seems startlingly accurate at times! Your attention to detail is incredible. Do you do a lot of research for your pieces?

AG- I enjoy the research process. I usually look online and in birding books for some images of what a real species looks like in nature. Then I look at commercially made soft toys of that particular bird and I look at other artists interpretations, too. This helps me to get a sense of how the body form has been broken down into basic shapes and exaggerated for effect. Finally, I create a sketch as close to the size of the finish piece as possible. This sketch becomes the basis of the first draft of the sewing pattern.

S- One of my favorite parts about your work is your use of mixed media! You create fabrics out of unlikely sources and often enlist the help of found objects. What are some of your favorite materials to work with?

AG- I really like to find fabrics in unexpected places, like the labels sew into clothing or flour sacks. Those bits of fabric that sneak into your life and you don’t even realize it. Most of the other found objects that eventually get incorporated into my sculptures I find at the Wellesley Town Dump. I pick up things and take them home and then think about them, sometimes for a very long time, before I figure out what exactly they should become.

S- Where do you find most of your materials?

AG- Most of my birds are sewn from Kona cotton that I buy at commercial fabric stores either locally or online. I love Kona cotton because it is strong and I stuff very firmly. The rest of my fabric I have collected over many years for all over the place. It’s an addiction.

Read the rest here!

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