As we’ve all just begun dipping our toes into a New Year, approaching 2017 with caution, I have the great joy of embarking on another year of needlecraft adventures with you all. The incredible maker I have the privilege of sharing today is a real corker who can kick off our 2017 ‘Exploring Etsy’ in style! The uber talented Anouk is a mystical tour de force, just one look at her shop, ‘Pantovola’, will transport you to a universe of otherworldly delights.
Pantovola are one of a kind, fantastical dreamlike textile art dolls and soft sculptures hand made in Edinburgh, Scotland. Anouk, a painter/printmaker by trade, has always been most fascinated by creating small worlds and creatures that exist in their own magical realm. Before arriving at doll making she made dolls’ houses, puppet animation films, paper theatres and theatre shows. Pantovola was born in the spring of 2015 when she was staying on a canal boat in London and had to reconsider what she made due to the lack of available work space. Doll making combines all the things she loves most in life: collecting, thinking up creatures, sewing and stitching, painting and story telling. Inspiration for her work is rooted in folklore, myths, fairy tales, animals and the natural kingdom. She also likes to used old materials with their own history adding to the narrative of her work, almost lending it an old spirit. Currently living in Edinburgh, Anouk works from her studio at home where she tells me “it’s a blessing I have a dog, otherwise I would probably never leave the house…”
What is your earliest stitching memory?
My earliest stitch memory is from when I made my first ever doll constructed from an old sock, filled with lavender. I painted the sock doll a little face and made her a frock with some bits of fabric from my mother’s sewing basket. I think I was about 6 yrs old.
What fires your imagination?
My imagination is on fire most of the time, which is a blessing and a curse. It gets most aroused when I am in nature at dusk. When the daylight is dimming and the skies turn dark electric blue, when the trees and ruins become silhouettes in a life size shadow theater.
Anouk’s work is awe inspiring with more than a little magic about it. No detail is overlooked and the characters she creates are beautifully unique. Alongside her Etsy shop she sells most of her work through ‘The Blue Moon Club’ which is where she shows new pieces before they go online anywhere else, you can become a member through her website. So, go enjoy more of her work and spread the word to one and all about this very talented woman!
Jessica Taylor aka Loadofolbobbins is a Textile Artist and Illustrator based by the sea in Portsmouth. At her happiest with a needle and thread, with a passion for genealogy she often explores old photographs in her textile art. With her fingers in many creative pies she loves to experiment with new techniques, creating illustrated and stitched goodies for her Etsy shop.