Have you ever looked at super cute crochet stuffed toys and wondered how did they do that? Here at Furls we believe in celebrating all things fiber arts so this month I'll be celebrating amazing Amigurumi artists. Some may be familiar to you like Jackie Laing the designer behind the Furls 9th Birthday party hat and some you may not know by name like Australian artist Phil Ferguson who makes yummy looking Ami treats like his whole line of KFC inspired pieces.
Today I have the honor of chatting with Jade Wade, the designer behind Sweet Softies .
Jade: Oof, that's a loaded question! I've been on this crocheting journey for over a decade now, and I started by blog and pattern designing back in late 2011. The key reason I started still holds true today, and it's the JOY that I get from the process of crocheting. Sure, the end product is cool and all, but the act of DOING crocheting is on an entirely different level for me. I just love it.
Mrs. Deveter: DOING crochet definitely feels good. The end result of your crochet is always so lovely and super unique What would your response be to someone who says crochet is nor an art form?
Jade: Firstly, I'd respect their opinion, because I can see why one may not classify crochet as an art form, like drawing, painting, and other traditional arts. However, as a passionate crocheter, I'd be happy to mention that I feel crocheting is a unique and beautiful way of handmade expression. On the topic of amigurumi, if we really want to break it down, it consists of a "recipe" of stitches and counting. Beyond that, though, there's a lot of artistry that is involved, especially when it comes to designing projects with shaping, color combinations, yarn selection and other material usage, etc. Adding finishing touches to projects also involves artistry. When I hold my annual Crochet-A-Longs or see finished projects made from my patterns, the notion that crochet is an art form truly elevates because you can see the amazing variations and individualized touches are made to make each creation utterly unique and special, even though they come from the same pattern.
Mrs. Deveter: I totally agree with your response. Crochet IS art! To make this beautiful art you need the right tools. What is your favorite Furls tool?
Jade: I'd definitely say the Odyssey hooks! I have a 2.75mm that I frequent for my amigurumis. It's gold and pink, a gorgeous combination that I love. I feel super fancy whenever I use it! Not to mention, this hook is also very smooth to work with, and I love the wider grip as well. It's most certainly my favorite!
Mrs. Deveter: Oh yes, Odyssey is definitely a great hook for amigurumi projects! You were so lucky to get a gold hook while they were available. Jade, what unexpected benefits have crocheting brought to your life?
Jade: Community. Hands down! I must first give a shout out to my Wonder Wool-men group! We're a small but tight-knit group of crochet bloggers who regularly interact, and I feel so fortunate to call them my friends. These sweet makers inspire me day in and day out with not only their creativity, but their beautiful, friendly, and spirited selves! They honestly feel like a second family to me, one whom I can turn to for not only advice related to crochet and blogging, but personal life as well!
Throughout my crocheting journey, I've also made so many wonderful friends in the crochet community, whether it was through my pattern tests, Crochet-A-Longs, blog hops, and more! It's wonderful how an art that I'd otherwise be doing alone in my room help connect me with so many wonderful crafters around the world.
Mrs. Deveter: Yay for community! What makes your work unique and special? What is the mission of your business/ art?
Jade: My work is unique in that they're oftentimes whimsical and I like to incorporate bits of that fairytale vibe. Since I have a baby girl, I'm starting to design more projects that have play features, such as sets that contain dolls and removable accessories or clothing, or dolls with beds and blankets.
The mission of my art is to show others that they can indulge in this art as well! I wish to show others that the art of amigurumi isn't intimidating to begin. I have many, many free patterns on my blog, and most of them are very beginner-friendly, simple, and quick to work up. Another reason I share most of my patterns for free on my blog is to make it accessible for amigurumi enthusiasts around the world. You don't need to pay money to be able to make these creations. I want everyone to be able to enjoy making cute things that speak out to them!
Mrs. Deveter: What a lovely mission. Thanks so much for freely sharing your talent and passion with us. Finally we live in a mass-produced, buy-it-now society. Why should people continue to make things by hand?
Jade: In my opinion, handmade will always be in a separate category from mass-produced products. I like to use the term "heart-made", because each handmade item is made from the heart! There's a certain sense of love and care poured into handmade products, and to me, it's that very special ingredient that makes it special, sentimental, and to be cherished and loved.
Mrs. Deveter: I love learning new terms and "heart-made" is one I'll be adding to my vocabulary! Thanks again Jade for your time today.
Furls Fans I hope you learned something new about amigurumi and Jade! Be sure to check out this months free pattern by Jade the Sakura Kimono Bunny and be sure to like, and follow Sweet Softies on social media!
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