FAQ for Plush Jobs

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First off, let’s explain what a Plush Job is from a Custom Sock Creature. In general, it’s still me taking your material, mine, or a combination of both, to make for you a one-of-a-kind, original, handmade soft sculpture. But these tend to be bigger than sock creatures, and because we’re not limited to the structural features of socks, we can go a bit more complex with detail, shape and anatomy. These plush jobs, though made to be durable and withstand handling, are not intended to be children’s playthings or to ever go in the wash. They are soft sculptures meant for display and holding.

How do I place an order for a custom plush job?
Drop me an email and get a discussion going. The format for this is pretty loose as yet, so hashing out the specifics of what you want will be pretty interactive.

What’s the price range for this service?
It starts at $50 for labor, and gets pricier based on the level of detail and complexity. Extra charges apply if I must buy special fabric, like fur that matches your dog, if neither of us have anything suitable. In all honesty, if you want something smaller and cheaper, you’re best off not hiring an artist. There are loads and loads of great toys already in shops.

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How specific can I be when telling you what I want my creature to look like?
Sometimes people have submitted a sketch of what they want for their creature. That’s fine, in fact it’s welcome. With fabrics other than socks, we can get a bit more specific and dynamic with the detail and anatomy. Ordering a Stupid Creature™ still involves a measure of trust on the customer’s part.

Can you work from a drawing?
Yes. Of course, I’ll need to see the drawing and ask if you want an exact duplicate or something similar.

Can you do a human likeness or a creature version of pets?
To a greater extent than I can with sock creatures. It’s still best we keep things general and simplified. I haven’t tried yet becoming the fabric version of Madame Tusseaud’s just yet, and it’s not likely that I ever shall. I’ve done people’s pets before, but the features are invariably simplified, and the general mood of the pet is attempted. Pet owners who expect a replica of their beloved animal are not ideal candidates for this service. All things worth doing are possible, though. Never hesitate to contact me and ask if a job can be done.

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Can you make me something like I’ve seen on TV or in stores?
Oh, please. If you see something you like on TV, chances are it’s already in a store, and priced cheaper than I could do it for you (because it’s made in a toxic sweatshop overseas). Hire me to do something original that nobody else in the world will have (and won’t get me sued for copyright infringement)!

I want an exact copy of one of your creatures. Can you do that?
No. I can guarantee that its basic anatomy will be imitated, as will the basic method I used to construct the creature you like. I may change the construction method if in time I have encountered better techniques. Dimensions, poses, proportions, colors, patterns, textures and facial expressions (which are serendipitous at best) cannot be exactly duplicated because the fabrics which allow those features come from limited, chance-encountered, reclaimed sources and their equal is very likely never to be seen again. These creatures are as unique as you and me.

So how long does it take you to do a plush job?
Oh, all told, many hours. Expect to wait a good month or so while we discuss back and forth, and as I often have many plates spinning during any given job.

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How long should I expect to wait before seeing my creature?
Ideally, you should expect to wait several weeks to a month for one creature, and a little longer (unsure yet) for multiple creatures. I’ll let you know if extra time is required. Though from time to time my plate may fill up with other jobs like writing a book or developing a prototype or getting ready for a show. I’ll do my best to let you know if it looks like your order will take a tad longer than usual. You can look at the calendar page of this website and get an inkling of what my availability is, though you should never feel discouraged to place an order any day of the year.

If I have a dated event such as a birthday or holiday, how far in advance should I place my order?
For most birthdays or non-holiday events, get your order in the mail to me 3 months in advance of your due date. This allows for shipping to me, processing at the studio, then shipping back to you. Dates such as Valentine’s Day or the Christmas Season will require some extra planning. Many customers begin sending me their Christmas orders by late summer. The queue gets quite long roundabout Thanksgiving. I’ve often had to raise my prices just to stem the flow, so plan plan plan. Christmas orders that arrive to my studio by late November or early December receive no guarantee of timely shipping, especially if my queue is long. My final ship-out day for Christmas season orders is December 15. After that date, I must get cracking on gifts for my own friends and family, and I won’t process new orders till the New Year. Incidentally, the New Year is a great time to send me Valentine’s Day orders.

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Do I give you the materials for my creature?
Yes, that’s the best way to do it. I stock no regular fabrics, and only ever work with donated clothing or fabric with post consumer fiber content. If you want a creature with an appealing texture or pattern, it’s best you supply me with the materials. You can, of course, opt to be surprised and let me choose materials for you. If we’re doing a pet with specific fur, I’ll have to do some research to find suitable fabrics. We’ll discuss cost options and either go with what we have or I’ll need to go shopping. In such cases, a charge for specially ordered fabric will be applied to the cost of your creature.

How much material should I give you for my order?
That’s really hard to say. Contribute what you can, be it a garment, a remnant or swatch. If I feel the order requires more fabric, I’ll choose it from my stores as best suits the texture, pattern and color of the items you sent.

Can I send other material than socks?
Absolutely. This is an artistic, sculptural process after all.

So what kind of materials are best suited for this kind of a job?
Socks of most kinds. Most T-shirts work well. Denim is good. Wool sweaters are great, though I may take some extra time to shrink them for durability. Cotton or cotton/polyester blends are fine too. Pajamas make amazing creatures since they’re already by virtue snuggly. Baby clothes are great, great materials. Consider the weight, fiber content and stretch of the fabrics you send in. Thick, unyielding denim combined with thin, stretchy T-shirt material may cause problems when it’s time to stuff, play with, or wash the creature. Try to see that the fabrics are compatible.

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What kind of materials should I avoid?
Sheer, thin, gauzy stuff like pantyhose and its ilk is wretched for this kind of work. So are thick, durable, sturdy things like knobbly or coated upholstery, burlap and leather (as yet). Avoid also crocheted items like afghans and other things woven loosely. Avoid fabric with a tendency to unravel.

And absolutely avoid any fabric that smells of smoke, feet, armpits, butt, pets, incontinence, is moldy or in any unsanitary state. I will promptly burn any such material and send your order form back to you unfilled.

If I can tell that a fabric is simply discolored or bears a treated stain and is otherwise clean and safe, I’ll work with it. Otherwise, please consider that my studio, while small, is a hub of international commerce. Do not turn me into a dealer of plague.

What do you stuff your creatures with?
I use grade 2 polyester fiber fill, which is entirely post-consumer.

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Can I sell the creatures you make for me?
No. And why would you want to? You’ve hired me for a custom job with your hard-earned money. Anyway, the creatures I make for you are my copyrighted designs. You own the creature, but not its likeness. If you want to sell original creatures, I’ve written a book that tells you exactly how to sew them (see the Books page on this website). Though, you have to do the work yourself. You may not outsource a manufacturer to employ a sweatshop to work directly from my book and sell the product in great masses. My expressed, written consent does not cover that course of action.

I still have questions.
I still have answers. Contact me and ask.