The post is part of an occasional series called "Awesome Handmade
Toys." These posts feature toy makers whose work I think is
particularly fresh and inventive. You can see previous posts in the series here. I also pin toys to my Inspiring Softies pinboard on a regular basis if you're looking for more inspiration.
Are you ready for some softie inspiration? Of course you are. Today I'm showcasing some toys made by Louise Evans. Louise is better known as the Felt Mistress. She's a plush artist living in the UK. Louise was originally trained in fashion design and millinery and today she creates some of the best plush characters I've ever seen. Here's a sampling:
Demetri the Yeti by The Felt Mistress (all photos via the Felt Mistress and used with her permission).
The glasses, the belt with cuffed jeans and furry toes poking out, the way he's holding his pipe – this guy kills me. She really captures men particularly well.
High-waisted pants are so perfect here. And again with the belt. I feel like I've met many people that ARE this dude.
I really enjoyed listening to this Make It Then Tell Everybody podcast episode in which the Felt Mistress talks about her process. She says that she doesn't draw much and doesn't really feel comfortable sketching, but give her a pair of scissors and she'll make you something! I love this. One of the things that's wonderful about softie-making is that you don't need to be a great 2-D artist to make a great softie.
The Felt Mistress did a wonderful series of bugs from felt including the beetle above. She's also done fantastic cut felt masks.
Creative softies are awesome in window. The Felt Mistress created this window for Selfridges.
I think we can agree that Hector Bunford is a marvelous character. I love that his mustache is constructed in a similar way to the beetle's wings.
The Felt Mistress made this George Harrison for a Beatles tribute show. I think this character is utterly amazing. The vibrant colors and clean shapes give this piece a great vibe.
Is there a softie maker whose work you admire? I'm always searching for artists to feature in this series. Send me an email if you think there's someone I should know about!