Thursday, November 3, 2011

The happy versatility of spherecreturs

For a while back in my youth (i.e. about two years ago) I made little spherepigs. They were clumsy beginner things, cute but not really the most impressive shows of craftsmanship.

Musclepig, unloved for all his lifetime, now a permanent resident of the Cretur Box.
Apricot pig. ... That's all there is to say, really.
So I tried to make them more interesting. First there was a holiday-themed one that ended up being given away at a craft fair. I don't know who got it, or even if anyone ever did; for all I know it floats in the ether and makes woeful little snorting sounds at midnight on Halloween:

Pumpkin pig. Getting better.
Then one ended up pink for some reason, so I decided to take it all the way and experiment with adding appendages:

My favorite part is the little swirly dollop of hair

After the moderate success of the flying pink pig, there were no more pigs for a long time. I didn't want to repeat the pink one and cash in on cuteness; instead, I wanted to start a deal where anyone would be able to make up their own completely custom spherepig. But no one seemed interested in the idea. After a lot of awkward marketing, someone finally took me up on the offer, and I was so happy to make this:
Sort of the evil twin of the pink one

But then it never happened again.

In fact, after that, several aspects of life converged to make a big mess and there were no creturs at all for a while. I lost practice and inspiration, and despite how much I love what I do, I couldn't bring myself to start a good respectable sculpture.

One day, sitting in front of the computer and a bottle of beer, I forced myself to do a warmup exercise. This is what happened:

Ninja Turtles make everything better. Revived by the triumph of my decapitated 80's nostalgia trophy, I rediscovered COURAGE and HONOR and PIZZA and I started poking wool constantly again.

And so, all spherecreturs since have been a lot more interesting and I am actually proud of them. THANK YOU, LEONARDO.

This one, which you may remember from a previous post, is based on a doodle by Stevan Zivadinovic and was given to Phil Barbato as a Christmas present:

Another one where my favorite part is the hair. Little nub-hair!

Then I made two more pigs, very quickly, to contribute to a team challenge from the Plush Team:

I seem to have gotten better at eyes, at least.

The last two were both made last month, were both commissions, and have not been posted here before. They also both like long walks on the beach and mimosas, probably.

The first is a ladybug, pretty straightforward, first cretur where I've dared to use bare pipe cleaners as limbs:

Ladybug, or ladybird, or lady beetle (Coccinella magnifica)

And the second is a wintertime quail, poofing up to keep warm:

California quail (Callipepla californica)

I don't know what the lesson is in all of this but I am sure there is one.

Anyway, I never liked pigs. I know, I know, pigs are cool, pigs are smart, pigs can eat anything, pigs have 6-hour-long orgasms, etc. For a person who has been keenly interested in animals her whole life, I am sure it is pretty weird that I don't like pigs, but listen: they are so smart and so fleshy that they just make me think of gross people. It's an uncanny valley sort of feeling. Did I start making spherepigs as a subconscious way to cope with my strong dislike of pigs? Probably not, or if I did it certainly didn't work. But at least it yielded a lot of experiments and learning opportunities, and looking at the whole history of spherecreturs makes me feel like, at least, I'm advancing.


  1. I effing LOVE puff quail. And maybe the lesson is that underneath most cool creations are simple basic shapes?

  2. The only thing cuter than those appendagey pigs is that poofy quail. Poof!

  3. These are awesome. The quail is my favorite, though that ladybug runs (flies?) a close second!