I have had the pleasure of working with Serena Kuhl for several Plush You! shows along with her contribution to Plush You!: Lovable Misfit Toys to Sew and Stuff. She has always been supportive, inspiring and her work is funny to boot. I am so glad we finally have her for an interview. Leave a comment here for your chance to win your own cannibal bunny! Don't forget to leave contact info!
S- Can you first tell us more about yourself and how you got into sewing plush toys?
SK- My mum taught me to sew when i was really young, I used to sew a lot of pillows! I'd get sick of doing it half way through and then start making the stitches bigger and bigger! Then when i started school I was shown how to make these snake characters out of old tights, you were supposed to put them in front of doors to stop the draughts, so I ripped a lot of my stockings so i could make a legion of them! I didn't really make toys again until i was at art school. a bunch of female students were asked to respond to the theme "Male" in a sculpture, so i made a pile of pastel coloured phallic objects out of plush, and have been making them ever since
S- I feel like since our first encounter you have really expanded your work and your customer base. How have you reached galleries and shops so far away?
SK- Myspace is suprisingly helpful. It appears it's useful for something other then helping teenagers hook up! People have seen my work and requested it, or I send an email off to them. You get as many rejections and acceptances obviously, as there is a core crew who are operating at a professional level, and you find their work in every toy shop known. Ugly Dolls are a good example of this. A lot of shop owners are wary of investing space and money in something outside of the well exposed artists. and as I'm in a very isolated pat of Australia, everywhere is a long way away from me! So sending stuff to Sweden, the US or Melbourne doesn't really make a lot of difference.
Read full interview here