from irresistible ibabes, to rainbow-colored cookies, to slurpy sweet deserts, to forest friendlies and even jolly zombies, Marion Hawkes aka MAZ's handmade-plushies have taken the toy world by surprise and is surely gaining fans and plushie-converts alike ;) ... i had the opportunity to sneak a few questions into her hectic schedule :p
TOYSREVIL: let's jump right in, shall we? how long have you been designing and making plushes? do you remember what was your first ever plush made? and what was your first ever plush sold?
MAZ: ooh, itd be slightly over a year now. how time has flown!! my first plushie? ahh i remember it well! LOL - it was an octomonkey, for friends off the octane 3 forum. gah, looking at it now its, errr ... basic. LOL
& the first plush i started selling, i think were the jellyheads. small jellyfish type plush with 3 eyes made in various colours. when i look back at my earlier plush it can be a bit cringeworthy! i was still learning.
TRE: you have very distinctive plushie-folks, IMHO ... how do the concepts of your creations came about? what inspires you?
MAZ: silliness, fun, happyhappy, everyday things :)
TRE: silliness is always good LOL - what and who are your influences?
MAZ: too many to mention!!!! anything with silly characters or stories grabs my attention. cutesy things. artist wise i love all things tado, obsessively!! jon burgerman, shawnimals, chris lee, dgph, apak etc.
TRE: cute but deadly, i see! LOL ... why plush?
MAZ: i wanted to try something different. i'd read a 'how to' guide in playtimes magazine & thought it looked easy enough, so I gave it a go! i have been hooked ever since ...
... & i love working with material, there's so many different textures & colours out there. my main material is felt, i love it because its so easy to use and comes in all shades of the rainbow ... its good for anyone starting off.
TRE: do you do sketches before you make the plushes? character designs? am always charmed by your hand-drawn toy-tags tho :)
MAZ: yes always, you have to start somewhere. doodle & doodle away ... its best to sketch your design before cutting any material. make a template which you can use over again.
TRE: i see you've been doing mini-plushes, badges and keychains lately, instead of bigger plushies from earlier before ... is that deliberate? or izzit becoz you're having more fun? or are you moving away from bigger plush?
MAZ: i like working on a small scale, plus im having fun with these badges, yeah! but i still make bigger plush now & again, they are just a pain to handsew because of their size.
TRE: i feel utterly stoopid for asking this, but ... do you use a sewing machine or hand-needlework?
MAZ: yes all my plush are handsewn. i will be investing in a sewing machine real soon, though it'll probably take me a year to figure out how to use it! LOL
TRE: tell us about your creations. do they have stories of their own?
MAZ: stories? sometimes, when i can be bothered thinking them up!! can be hard to come up with something that hasn't been done before.
TRE: are there any further developments of your creations planned? (ie: commercially mass-produced and managed?)
MAZ: handmade is where its at baby!! (sorry, but i just hadda "bold" it all :p)
TRE: LOL ... so tell us, who is MAZ? tell us about yourself. your "dayjob"...
MAZ: Maz is me, a girl from belfast who makes silly plush creatures :)
& my dayjob its pretty boring really, i serve drunks for a living!!! which means i can daydream & doodle ... when im bored, i sometimes get inspiration in naming my plush though!!
TRE: heck, at least ya gots a job! (check my bank book - *sobs silently*) tell us what you hope for your creations to do, for you and the plush collector?
MAZ: to make the buyer happy they bought my stuff!!!
TRE: am sure they are! any last words for your fans and future fans-to-be?
MAZ: thankyou andy! and a big thankyou to simon, paola & sam for stocking my shizzle, & to my forum mates for putting up with me & for their support!
TRE: my thanks for your time and trouble for this interview in between your hectic schedule, Marion! and may 2007 be a busy and good year for you! (and that you'll not need to take a year to learn to operate the sewing machine! LOL)
you can find Maz@Vox.com :)
and do head-on over to these places to get some Mazzalicious-goodies:
- Badges and iBabes @ the grocerygallery
- Pink Ghost
- maz's own Etsy Shop, currently being stocked with even more plush goodies :)
~ stay tuned for launch details ~
- check out hi-res images of Maz's plushies for sale @ her flickr
... and tell me you do not want to have a box-o-plushies like this?
[original post circa 10.02.07]