Today we have an interview with Pippenwycks, an amazing shop by a talented and imaginative artist. I sincerely thank her for taking the time to do the interview and all I can say is “wow.”
Well, I take leather and not so much mold it as shape it into faces. It took me about a year to figure out the process. There was a lot of trial and error. Sometimes the image I have in my head is completely different than the end result. The leather has a mind of its own and will “tell” me what it wants to be. Once I have the “face” shaped I can apply it to well, anything really. Boxes, purses, key rings, Hair barrettes. If it doesn’t run away from me I’ll creature it!!! Each one is one of a kind as no two can ever be exactly the same just by the nature of the leather and the process I use.
I intentionally try to put good energy into each and every creation so that when the creature goes to it’s new home that good energy will spread. As for the magic…Well, I AM the Good Witch Pippenwyck after all. I could tell you all my secrets but then I’d have to send the Trolls after you and we wouldn’t want that now would we!! They are rather smelly.
It may sound silly but I remember every creature I’ve ever made. I truly LOVE creating them and the stories that go with them. Each one has their own bit of magic. We get so hurried and bogged down with the day to day must do’s that we forget to look for the magic in the simple things. I want people to see their creature and let it remind them to look for the little magic’s of the day. To look for the joy. I know it’s just a box with a leather face after all. Or is it???
Your pieces remind me of mimics and other creatures from dungeons and dragons… Does your inspiration come from a specific mythology or fantasy universe? If not, where does
the inspiration for these come from?
No, although I know about those they weren’t the inspiration. When my boys were little I
made up bedtime stories for them about a fantasy world I named the Wildwyck Woods. They were the brave handsome princes and I was the Good Witch Pippenwyck. Together we would take the events of our day and turn it into the stories of the creatures. It became very elaborate. When the old toaster caught fire it wasn’t because it was old and worn out. It was because one of the creatures had slipped into our dimension and had chewed the electric cord of course!! Spilled milk at the dinner table…wicked creatures must be about knocking things over!!
I still create the creatures and their stories around the events of the day. When I can’t find
my keys I know another wicked creature has snuck into my cottage!! Wicked, naughty creatures they are!!
Also, faces and eyes facinate me. Older people have the most amazing faces!! Each wrinkle and fold has a story to tell of the passage of events and time. Every eye is unique with it’s own sparkle. I try to capture some of that in the creatures.
Also, I have to admit that I’m a Halloween-a-holic. I’ve already started on new items for next Halloween. Sooooo many ideas and Soooooo little time!!
Now that we’ve covered general inspiration, please tell everyone a little bit about the process for conceiving and creating an individual piece.
This is such a difficult question to answer. Many times I will dream of a creature. Yes, I mean literally dream it and no, I don’t need medication!! LOL I even keep an idea notebook by the bed. Ideas just come to me. Sometimes I will just hold the leather and let it tell me what it wants to be.
Once I have decided on the base, like a box, or purse I have to create that base and then I start shaping the leather around the eye. Almost all expression comes from the eye. Once the first step is “set” I can add additional features like ears or wicked sharp teethor tails. Ijust love the ones with tails.
There are six different steps to creating a creature and lots of drying time in between each step. The actual process is a secret only the cat and I know about and she won’t tell. She’s smelled the Trolls!!
Recently I dreamed about an entire new line of creatures. I’m working out the process for them now. I’m really excited about them but shhhhhh…They’re a little shy right now and not ready for their debut yet.
Just looking at your pieces, something tells me that you have a healthy relationship with fantasy and are, perhaps, a touch nerdy. What are your favorite nerdy pursuits?
Yep!! I’m often in my own fantasy world and wear the nerd title proudly. For fun I LOVE to read up on Quantum Physics and ancient history. (I’m not kidding I really do) When I was in junior high I read every single book in the school library. It’s true. Every single book. I still love to read anything I can get my hands on. Another favorite is walking in the forest, talking with the trees. They have much wisdom for us if we will just listen. The bushes on the other hand are rather silly.
What would you say to other artists who love magic and/or fantasy as much as you do?
Enjoy it, embrace it let it fill your heart and then share it!! Those of us who can imagine something and bring it to life are special. We are needed more now than ever. What is imagined as fantasy today will be the reality of tomorrow So, let your imagination run free and create tomorrow.
Finally, where can we find you and your lovely creatures?
Primarily I sell through www.etsy.com/pippenwycks. I do have a web site at
pippenwycks.com which will link you to Etsy. I’m hoping to get the web site up and running on its own soon. You can also message me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If all else fails look for me in the Wildwyck Woods…just don’t stray from the path. You never know what you may find or what may find you!!