Welcome to Muggles Market Monday! Each week we are spotlighting one of the artisans scheduled to appear at our brand new Muggles’ Market at this year’s Geek Gala. This week’s featured artisan is It’s The Fuzz! Liz Kruckemeyer took a few minutes to answer some questions about her business and general geekery.
- What kind of items will you be selling at this year’s Muggles Market?
I needle felt, which is a form of dry felting where you take wool roving and poke it with a bunch of needles (so therapeutic!) until it starts to knit together and form a shape. That said, I will be selling one of a kind soft sculptures of zombies, creatures and monstrous monsters. I have a variety of Halloween inspired creations, like witches and cyclops bats, pumpkin head men and women, and maybe a mummy or two. Everything I make is unique, one of kind, and hopefully (if I did it right) infused with a sort of life and spirit. They all have personalities. They all have a story. Sometimes I’m not sure what it is until I meet the people that adopt them, but they are all very odd, a little cute, and certainly, a touch creepy.
- How did you first get started making these things?
I went to art school. Got a degree in Fine Art and then promptly never used it. I worked in law firms for the next 10 years and kept the degree in a drawer. Then the economy tanked (I’m originally from Michigan, near Detroit), and I got my full time job cut down to two days a week. In the middle of so many people getting laid off, there was a small and inspiring little push to shop local, to buy handmade, to support each other. I loved it. Suddenly I was made aware of this art community that I had been oblivious to until that moment. I’d been doing a little needle felting and putting it online, but it wasn’t until a young couple opened a store in downtown that hosted handmade art and vintage wares every weekend that I really found my felting feet and rhythm. It was so much fun to watch people react to the nonsense I had created. I was hooked. I did as many weekends as I could. When I moved to Charlotte four years ago, I looked for similar markets and having been pushing forward in the Charlotte art scene ever since.
- What has been one of your favorite projects to work on?
A favorite project has to be the first Franken-Hippo I ever made. Just like he sounds, he is made to look stitched together from other parts, and made whole again with some felting magic and yarn. He was a custom creation for a young girl. Really young, 2 years old, and I was pretty worried about what a 2 year old would do to my creation. Well, recently I found out. I got an email from the mom. The girl is now 8, and she loved on that weird Franken-Hippo so hard that he is now missing an eye, a foot “got his ear pierced” with a safety pin (so punk rock) got put in water and frozen, though if you ask Mags (the owner) she will tell you it was formaldehyde, and who knows what else. I always tell people my creations aren’t toys, but to see how much this kid has enjoyed her monster? That’s pretty awesome. I’m currently in possession of the Franken-Hippo again and am doing some minor repairs. Though the only thing Mags really cared about was that I give him a new eye. I think I can swing it.
- What else can you tell us about yourself?
I’ve got two cats. Rococo and Radio. Rococo tries to destroy my artwork at every turn, but I love her to bits anyway. Radio meows ALL OF THE TIME, and if I look sleepy at the market it’s probably because he decided it’s feeding time at 3 AM, and he was wrong.
I love buying art. All types of art. And the main reason I continue to needle felt is because I want people to buy something that is just for fun. Something completely without function. Something that you love simply because looking at it makes you feel good. That’s why I buy art, that’s why I make art. Hopefully something I make can be that for someone else.
- So this year’s Geek Gala is about space travel – if you could join any TV/Movie space crew – who would it be and why?
I grew up watching the original Star Trek series with my family, and so it’s the clear choice for me. No matter how many new crews have shown up over the years, I would still stick it out with Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty, Uhura, Chekov and Sulu. I love that crew. And hopefully I wouldn’t get stuck with a Red Shirt…
- Check out their website at: It’s the Fuzz
And make plans to come visit them on Saturday, October 22nd at this year’s Geek Gala!