Beth Doherty (gourmetamigurumi.com) is a perfectionist with limitless patience, the ideal combination for creating highly detailed and inspirational amigurumi. CRAFT featured Beth back in Volume 01, along with one of my favorite images to ever grace our pages (Lydia and Punk Bunny):
The life and feeling that she infuses into yarn and embellishments is amazing. The time and effort she puts into each of her pieces is clearly apparent. In that same issue, Beth shared a pattern for her adorable crocheted robot, the Cro-bot:
Here is the Cro-bot project in our Digital Edition so you can crochet your own little buddy. We also ran a great little interview with Beth on Craftzine in 2006, showcasing more of her incredibly cute creations.
We checked in with Beth recently to see what she’s been crafting, and this is what she shared:
“The past few years have been a difficult haul. Last April, after a week-long hospital stay, I was diagnosed with epilepsy and complicated migraines. But I feel OK about this, because, finally, I knew what was wrong with me. It took a few more months to get my meds right and I am still becoming accustomed to the new reality.
Last November I decided that I was ready to work in my studio again. I had recently received a nice royalty check for my book and blew most of it on all sorts of supplies I was lusting after. Wool felt, lots of calico, ceramic beads for stuffing, sequins, a mini craft iron, a brand new printer, and drawing supplies. More artillery for the craft arsenal, my husband’s nickname for my studio. It was fantastic.”
“Unfortunately the week my shop went back online was the same week that the market took its first awful crash. Making really detailed, finished ‘gurumis is my first love. But I haven’t been able to sell much of anything. So I feel kinda irresponsible spending a bunch of time on finished pieces.”
“This turns out to be a mixed blessing. Instead of making amigurumis, I have been focusing most of my time on developing patterns for my Etsy shop and making my website into what I hope will be a valuable resource for others to improve their own crafts. As it turns out, I really like this stuff. After my book was finished, I felt burnt out and wasn’t sure if I would ever enjoy instructional work again. But writing directly for my audience without intermediary editors and publisher is very freeing. I can provide fellow crafters the detailed patterns they have been asking for without worrying about page count. And I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to see what others do with the designs.”
“And I am excited about the amigurumis I make with the leftover time. Because there is no pressure to make things quickly, I can add all the detail I want. I have been sewing clothes for them and spending more time on embroidering their expressions. I watch my dolls develop their own personalities. It really does feel like we are equals in this process. They tell me who they want to be and we create together.”
Thanks, Beth — we all hope you feel better and better every day! Beth’s site GourmetAmigurumi is a wonderful source or inspiration. She offers tips and techniques, and often posts her creations in progress. It’s always neat to see how they start and how they end, all full of life.
Also, check out her Etsy store for patterns, and her Flickr stream for tons of eye candy. (And of course you can still pick up copies of the classic CRAFT Volume 01 in the Maker Shed while they last. They will not be reprinted.)