Mmmmm….donuts. Everytime I visit the Sewdorky website I get a little hungry. Why? Because the donuts look so darn good. The art of crafting donuts by Sewdorky has come into fashion so much so that to counter all the sweet goodness, he’s also come up with the Sewdorky School of Dentistry which features large plush teeth. I talked to the mastermind Sewdorky himself to get a glimpse into his sweet crafts.
Website – Sewdorky
Nat: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Sewdorky: I have a lovely wife and a very tiny house in sleepy West Seattle. My real job is selling books.
Nat: How did Sewdorky.com and the idea of making donuts come about?
Sewdorky: I’ve always wanted to make art that makes people happy. In art school, I had a short-lived attempt at creating a Happy Art Movement (complete with the Happy Art Manifesto and everything), but I’ve found the Art World generally too steeped in irony and self-reflection for such a concept to be successful. The crafting community is more fun, nicer, often less pompous, more supportive and – as a result – more liberating.
Nat: I love your School of Dentistry too, especially the Pimp Tooth. Where did the inspiration come from — too many sweet donuts? : )
Sewdorky: First thing I always look at when I meet someone is his or her smile. I love the shape of molars. I also love the cheese-y coolness of blinged-out Gangsta fashion. The fuzzy Monster Tooth is really weird, but perhaps my favorite.
Nat: How do you make your donuts and teeth? And why did you choose this medium? Do you do them all by yourself?
Sewdorky: All Sewdorky items are homemade, primarily stitched up by me. I get a bit of help in production from one excellent crafty friend especially around the holidays and with big orders, but for the most part it’s a one-man band.
Felt (both synthetic and wool) for the most part is the main medium. It’s not terribly elastic, so it holds its shape when stuffed. Polar Fleece is an option, I suppose, but it freaks me out. For the Pimp Tooth, I was so psyched to finally find a fabric swanky enough to be used (www.stitchesseattle.com in Seattle rules!). Finding the perfect material is huge for me.
Nat: Is there a special process or tip you have with your craft that you can share?
Sewdorky: I believe strongly in using the absolute correct tools and materials for whatever the job at hand is. When I find the right pair of scissors or the perfect type of bead, I become totally faithful. The best advice I can think of is, if you find the right material (fabric, beads, pens or whatever), buy as much of it as you can, just in case you never find it again!
I love to experiment with techniques or tools that might not necessarily go together. For example, I’m eager to combine micro-circuitry (solenoids, microchips, button batteries, etc.) with my sewing. I also love carpentry and am interested in combining that with fabrics as well. I still haven’t found the right avenues yet. But I’m always looking.
Inspiration for craft can come everywhere and I always try to carry my digital camera with me. Just the other day I was in the produce section at this huge Asian market in Seattle and I had to photo-inventory all the amazing shapes and colors of the exotic fruits around me. I love to study the way in which natural forms have been created by working out their most basic shapes and patterns.
Nat: Can you share with us a few of your last 2-3 projects?
The Sewdorky School of Dentistry is still quite new. It’s been fun to see peoples responses to the teeth. I’ve already got a few orders from dentists, as well as orders from parents whose kid’s first teeth are coming in.
I have a piece in the upcoming Plush You show here in Seattle which opens this October. It’s a plush oversized Falling Anvil.
I’m also working on some top-secret new varieties of donuts, which I hope will be ready soon.
Nat: What are you working on right now?
Sewdorky: My wife and I are having a baby which is definitely my biggest project! I’m lobbying hard to be Mr. Mom. I’d love to stay home, looking after the kid and making donuts ‘n’ teeth when the kid is getting some Zzzs.
Thanks Sewdorky for the fantastic interview!
Up next? Yes, we have 1 more day of the Week of Toys with Beth Doherty of Gourmet Amigurumi on Monday!