Saturday, May 23, 2009
A new thing starting at Schmancy this June is our exclusive toy release. I have asked different plush artists to make an exclusive plush toy which will only be sold at Schmancy. I am really excited for this to start. I have folks scheduled through December with room to add as time goes. I want to get it started and see how it goes for awhile and then tweak it if I need to.
Soooo our first person to highlight is the very popular and very talented Robyn Fabsits. Starting June 3rd her amazing Feegee Mermaid will be for sale at the store and online. There are only 20 of these so they are very exclusive. If you want to put one on hold for June 3rd feel free to email me or comment here. Oh and please note if you want the female or male. We caught up with Robyn to see what she has been up to.
S- You usually seem to make larger pieces that are extraordinary. How was it making a smaller piece?
RF- Excruciating. I constantly wanted to do more to them. Make them bigger or add a lot of hand stitching. I found that I couldn’t go crazy because I had 20 to do, I would have crippled my hands if I had tried. I’ve never done that many plush of the same thing. I won’t lie, I struggled with it. I love to do one piece and go crazy with detailing and complexity, be done with it and then move on. I think that’s how people recognize my stuff. I’m jealous of those people who can, who have the patience to make multiples and sell them. I don’t have the patience and am usually thinking
of my next plush while I’m working. This is why I can never sell multiples of my work through my site and I find it hard selling one of a kinds because the price is usually a little higher. So I strive to do the plush shows and do really intricate, well crafted, quirky, one of a kind pieces. I will say that seeing all my FeeJee Mermaids sitting in a pile felt really good.
S- What have you been up to these days?
RF- Things have been a lot slower this year. Last year I took on six plush shows plus a brand new baby. I was crazy. But I got it done. This year I’m taking it a little easier, fewer shows. I’ve also noticed there don’t seem to be as many upcoming plush shows as there have been in the past. I assume the economy has something to do with it. But I’m confident it will pick up again and I’ll be busier. So for now I can just play around. I’ve got some doodles I’d love to turn into plush and with no deadlines I can work on them whenever. I do have two pieces in the second issue of Stuffed: A Gathering of Softies magazine coming out this summer. There is a brief description
about the pieces and some tips on how I work as well as the doodle and illustration these pieces where created from. I believe this issue comes out July 1st.
S- What are you looking forward to for the summer?
RF- Organizing my studio!!! It’s out of control. My husband and I finished our basement 2yrs ago and I had tons of space. Now, two years later, I’ve run out of room. Ugh. So that’s my biggest project. I also look forward to enjoying the weather, my flowers and watching my daughter discover new things since she just learned to walk.
WHAT'S A FEEJEE MERMAID?
The exhibit which created the Fiji mermaid concept was popularized by circus great P.T. Barnum, but has since been copied many times in other attractions, including the collection of famed showman Robert Ripley. The original exhibit was shown around the United States, but was lost in the 1860s when Barnum's museum caught fire. The exhibit has since been acquired by Harvard University's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and
Ethnology and is currently housed in the museum's attic storage area.
The Fiji mermaid came into Barnum's possession via his Boston counterpart Moses Kimball, who brought it down to Barnum in late spring of 1842. On June 18, Barnum and Kimball entered into a written agreement to exploit this "curiosity supposed to be a mermaid." Kimball would remain the creature's sole owner and Barnum would lease it for $12.50 a week. Barnum christened his artifact "The Feejee Mermaid" and began to "puff" her to the skies. In Barnum's exhibit, the mermaid was allegedly caught in 1842 by a "Dr. J. Griffin." Griffin was actually Levi Lyman, one of Barnum's close associates.
Though many people believed Barnum's claim, the "mermaid" was actually the torso and head of a monkey sewn to the back half of a fish.