“What’s it’s name????”
(that’s the first question I get when people see this guy- I’ve decided, it’s name is PICKLES)
Hi! My name is Pickles, and I’m your friendly neighborhood furball! I usually belong to small children and live at the end of beds, but I couldn’t stop growing. My owner had to set me free- her mom said that having me in the house was like having a third child. I’ve just been trying to make it work out here, bringing the joy I brought to my owner to the rest of New York. I do really miss her sometimes, and I’ve kept her scarf and necklace as momentoes of her, as a few lucky charms! I hope she comes back for me someday, I’ll be out and about until she does. If anyone asks, I like warm, toasty summer days and the scent of grass after a rainy day. I also love chicken tenders and peach pellegrino. If you have either of those, feel free to slip them into my stomach pouch- I’ll be sure to save them for later.
For this project, I wanted to create a series called ‘bench buddies’. The concept was to make several large, life-sized plush toys and have them in the same public space. Due to time constraints, I was only able to produce one, but from the reactions to the project, I do think this would be an interesting project to pursue in the future as a full series. I thought that creating a giant, human-sized plush would be interesting in terms of a public space installation. The plush itself is not a space, but it creates a different perception of space, as we usually expect for plush toys to be small and child-friendly sized. Judging from how people are interacting and engaging with Pickles, I do feel like it creates some sense of community.
The other plush design I had:
After sketching out the character design for Pickles, I cut out rounds of foam rubber and stacked them on top of each other to create the general form of the plush. From that general shape, I was able to draw out a rough pattern for the body with muslin, tweaking the pattern until I was happy with it- then I cut the pattern out of the actual furry fabric. For the limbs, I researched the best way to knit in the circular round, and ended up opting for double pointed needles. I used my own body as a guide- measuring the limbs to match mine. Once I had the general torso complete, I fit it over the foam rubber form and filled it out with scrap fabric and fiber fill to cushion out the firmness of the foam.
The facial features are made out of apoxie clay and sculpey, and painted with acrylic. A layer of clear nail polish was added to give the nose and eyes some shine. The acorn pendant was made from sculpey as well. I had my friend in fashion sew the hems of the scarf because that was the main item that needed a polished look. Everything else was hand-sewn because of my aversion to sewing machines. The feet are stuffed with fiber fill, scrap fabrics, and a small plastic baggie of rice. The hands are posable- I used aluminum wire to achieve this, and cushioned the wire with fiber fill.
Pickles is sitting in the Parsons Open Campus Office for now- better photos will come as soon as the weather is dry enough for Pickles to be photographed outside, ideally in a park!