David and Chloe of Etsy's Sleeping Bunny make up a talented pair of crafters who create adorable plush animals made from recycled sweaters and unique, handknit awesomeness. And they are members of Steel Town Etsy, of course! David answered the following questions while Chloe was at class, so what's written is from his perspective. :)
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Sleeping Bunny is made up of David and Chloe, who live on the edge of the city near Crafton. David is a full-time chef who currently works at Blue Dust bar in Homestead, and Chloe is a full-time student working toward a Radiological Technician degree.
Apart from creating things, how do you like to spend your time?
While crafting takes up a good bit of our time, we also enjoy just being out of the house. Our group of friends all meet once a week at a local bar to catch up on things. We both cycle recreationally and like being in the great outdoors when the weather's good.
What first made you want to become an artist?
Chloe has always had the artistic touch, and picked up knitting a few months ago while we were looking for a hobby to pass bad weather days stuck indoors. I've always known how to sew, but picked up making stuffed animals after seeing a book on it in a local bookstore. We love expressing ourselves, and are always looking for new ways to expand our crafter-tunities.
What does your creative process look like- how, when, materials, etc.?
I started out just making a few things from the book I bought on making sock animals, but after learning the basics and a few other techniques from the examples, I decided to branch out. My inspiration comes either from an idea I have for a specific finished product I want and then working the sock to match, or from the sock itself just asking to be made into a certain shape (i made a frog out of frog-printed socks, for example)
Chloe usually makes knits by seeing a yarn she thinks would make a great specific piece of attire. She's new to knitting, as I am to hand sewing, so her repertoire is still expanding. She just makes things that she likes and learns along the way.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I made a vest that I have yet to finish that I really like. It's deep brown corduroy with a blue and brown flannel lining. Chloe made herself a knit change purse that she uses, but I can't say if it's her most cherished. As far as the sock animals go, Chloe really likes this striped giraffe I made (she even has it in her Facebook profile pic). I'm partial to my sock-o-dile made from a green/brown argyle sock.
What advice would you give to artists who are new to the Pittsburgh craft scene?
Being new to the crafting scene ourselves, I consider us blessed to have done as much as we have so far. If I could give any advice, though, it would be to network. Steel Town Etsy is a great opportunity that's helped immensely, and we couldn't have done nearly what we have without it. I would also suggest buying the book "Crafty Superstar" by Grace Dobush. It really helped us lay out, and figure out, what to do when and how to do it, as far as selling crafts goes.
How do you promote your work?
We try to promote our work shamelessly. I always carry our business cards around with me so I can plaster them wherever I can. Any bulletin board is fair game to me. We also promote heavily on Facebook and through our circle of friends. Our blog isn't well publicized, but it's located at http://sleepingbunny.wordpress.com.
Thanks so much for the interview, Sleeping Bunny! We're honored to have you as part of the STE family! :)
Check out Sleeping Bunny's handcrafted wares at I Made It! Market's Chili with the Works: Spring Art and Chili Festival coming up on Saturday, April 10th!