31 May 2009

Artisan of the week, Random Granny

Morning all, Sunday has arrived and this week I have a fabulous artisan to share with you. She goes by the name Random Granny and she makes fabric dolls. They are not your regular Pollyanna rag doll. They are fantastically alternative. Random Granny's Hitcher doll (sadly now sold) was the first of her dolls I saw and as a huge fan of The Mighty Boosh I just had to invite this talented lady to be Artisan of the week. I'll let her tell you a little more about herself and her craft.

1. Could you please introduce us to who you are and what you do?
Hello, I am Random Granny and I love to make unusual fabric handmade dolls. I am based in Northampton, UK and sell locally in the old Fishmarket at the ‘Bicycle Basket Bazaar’ and also on Etsy and Coriandr. I have always been creative and studied art many years ago at Goldsmiths College in London. As a fairly new venture, Random Granny currently only sells dolls but due to the randomness of my interests I intend to expand my range. I have previously collaborated with my husband who makes automata so we intend to offer some more unusual items. (keep watching!)

2. What led you to take up your craft?
I have sewn the odd thing since I was young but a year ago a friend set up the local handmade goods bazaar and I went along to support him with only three dolls. They sold so quickly and were so well received I decided to continue and have expanded my collection. This has also lead to commissions for personalised dolls. My main inspiration is my love of reusing things (especially fabric!) and creating slightly different less cutesy items. Although I initially became interested in the Japanese kawaii style amigurumi which I also make, I wanted to create something more British and slightly darker with a hint of humour. I have a huge love of British comedy and our culture and I think that has a great influence on my work.

3. Which part of your work do you most enjoy?
Without doubt I love to collect new (old) pieces of fabric and dream up new ideas. Each bit of fabric has endless possibilities and imagining what I am going to do next is wonderful.

4. Which part do you find hardest?
I suppose parting with some of the dolls is probably the hardest thing. They are often limited editions due to the vintage fabric and I fall in love with some of the dolls!

5. Where do you hope to be in 1 year’s time?
I hope to be doing what I do now. Everything I make is handmade by me so I am pretty small scale. If I can continue to enjoy making and selling new creations I will be very happy. Making a living……..well that’s a different thing!

6. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Never eat yellow snow. Seriously!

7. Could you name artisans sites/shops would you recommend are worth a Visit? I always check out mollychicken to see what she is up to. Her designs are lovely but I also love the way she writes. She is a very funny lady! Everyone who could get to Northampton should check out Bicycle Basket Bazaar and come and visit us. I love Skull a Day definitely worth a look if you like something different.

8. What is your favourite sandwich filling?
I introduced a friend to a peanut butter and pickled onion sandwich the other day with excellent results but others have expressed stomach turning reactions to this. But I say, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Thank you for taking part in our blog Random Granny! I often find that people are agog at my choices of sandwich filling combinations, so I'm not knocking peanut butter with pickled onions. I might have to give them a go once I have some pickles. I adore your skeleton dolls. I might have to recruit one for my Pirate Pixie Crew, maybe as a figure head for the Galleon. I'm very excited and eager to see your future creations.

Written by Lynne aka Captain Skulduggery Dug


  1. Brilliant! I'd noticed the skeleton dolls on the Coriandr so it's great to find out more behind the creative force behind them ..

    ... and I can even see how the crunch of the pickled onion might go with the stickiness of peanut butter (almost), tho my sweet tooth prefers the more traditional pb & jam / banana combos :)

  2. Wow those dolls are inspirational! Thanks for sharing with us

  3. Love the dolls! So funny and unique!


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