The Herald of Illumination by Amanda Louise Spayd

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You have been asking for them for over a year, and don’t worry Amanda Louise Spayd has been listening. She has once again brought back the very large Dust Bunnies!
Illumination9_Lo_ResFueled with candy, coffee, and maybe a splash of something special into her coffee, Amanda has been working her fingers to adorable nubs getting ready for Monsters & Misfits III.

The requests have been flooding in, and she has paid attention to every single one of them. Standing 23 inches tall, meet “The Herald of Illumination“. Containing over 16 yards of fabric ruffles, this bat-like Dust Bunny is a culmination of many long hours for Amanda. Not just relying on her epic height, she is detailed with fully poseable arms, ears, and wings along with a flickering lantern to guide her into the night parade. Don’t be afraid, just like her friend Lydia Deetz, she is here to light the way for the creatures and ghosts of the night.
Illumination7_Lo_Res Illumination3_Lo_Res Illumination1_Lo_ResMMIII_Slide

Kathie Olivas’ “Encrusted Ash” is on the hunt.

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IMG_6003You may recognize “Ash” from the Wandering Misfits series, but Kathie Olivas has a very special “Encrusted Ash” lurking in the shadows for Monsters & Misfits III.

Unlike the wandering cousins, this Ash by Kathie is on a mission in Japan. You might be able tell by the determination in the eyes, the encrusted jewels, or even the figure on the chest that this Ash, is all business. You see, Ash is the seeker (stalker) of Fledermaus, the Bat King, who only appears to the living once a year during the night parade. Hoping only to catch a rare glimpse of Fledermaus, all 11″ of Ash’s oil, acrylic, and found objects on cast resin are already staking out a spot in Takayama, Japan for when Monsters & Misfits III opens September 13.

Keep your eyes here because we may have a rare image of Fledermaus, the Bat King next week.

Monsters & Misfits Monday: Tofu Bringer!!

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For this Monsters & Misfits Monday, we will keep it short and sweet because I want tofu now.
So for the show in Japan, Andrew Bell has created yet another amazing creature known as the
Tofu Bringer!


Stan Manoukian’s “Freekfrak” for Monsters & Misfits III

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Freefrak1One of the additions to this year to highly anticipated Monsters & Misfits III is Paris based Circus Posterus member Stan Manoukian. Stan brings rich back story and sci-fi elements to the exhibit with his amazing creations. For this, one of Stan’s pieces known as Freekfrak is making the journey to Japan’s waters.

Freekfrak is a highly regarded master of thieves and collectors. He is always trying to steal your little objects or just move them around so it gets you mad. The thing is, Freekfrak is so good you’ll never get the chance to catch him in the act or even see him. Even with the development of Freekfrak, you can see him conniving the entire time on what he can get his tentacle-like appendages on.
Freefrak4Watch out guys because I fear what this guy might do when the lights go out when Monsters and Misfits III opens at the Kusakabe Folk Museum September 13th to 26th in Takayama, Japan.



Ragnar update for Monsters & Misfits III

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A few weeks ago we brought you some development details out of Ragnar’s camp on a delightful creature from the sea making his way to Monsters & Misfits III. We are pleased as a sea cucumber that we got a finished image of this beast.
Ragnar finishedThe colors are extraordinary and small details on the figure really make it pop. We can’t wait to see what else Ragnar has for us and the folks in Japan.

Bunnies on Parade – an interview with Carisa Swenson and Amanda Louise Spayd!

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Two of my favourite bunny making ladies in the world have finally done what I’ve been dying to see them to do – they’ve joined forces and created a bunny doll tour-de-force of exceptional floppy eared charm. Amanda Louise Spayd has been one of my favourite artists in the last couple years, and after discovering Carisa Swenson last year, and adding one of her gorgeously detailed dolls to my shelf, I’m starting to see the appeal in lagomorphs.

I got to ask Carisa and Amanda about their collections, and their collaboration, and other bunny related things, and they offered up a delightful romp through their shared influences and process!

CP: Tell us more about your fascination with bunnies! As a side note, I would be delighted if somehow one of you had a collection of creepy stuffed bunnies from your childhood.

Amanda: Not FROM childhood, but I do have a small collection of ratty old Easter bunnies, if you want a picture :P


Dust Bunny, by Amanda Spayd

My obsession with rabbits started with Beatrix Potter’s enchanting stories and illustrations, then reinforced at my grandmother’s, as she lived in an area where rabbits would magically emerge at dusk. I could spend hours watching them.  Not only do I find hares and rabbits visually appealing, their feistiness and fleetness of foot (paws?) resonates with me.  “The Velveteen rabbit” was a favorite story of mine, but reading “Watership Down” and watching the animated film pretty much sealed it. I did have quite a collection of rabbit related trinkets and stuffed animals when young, but most are gone now. They seemed a natural subject to turn to when I began creating dolls.

It’s funny that I’m so smitten with bunnies, since I have never owned one.  But now that I think of it, I can definitely pinpoint some lapine influences early in my life – the first one being Watership Down. My mom was a teacher, and taught that book every year, so because it was around, I also read it pretty much every year. Also I was pretty obsessed with Jim Henson’s “Tale of the Bunny Picnic” when I was a kid. The rabbit thing sort of got revived in high school when I first saw Jan Svankmajer’s “Alice”….so, I guess i do have a fairly rabbit-heavy history. But in terms of rabbits in an artistic format, I think they’re really good as characters because so much of them can be used as expression. The bucky teeth, the ears – rabbits usually look frightened (I would too, if being someone’s dinner was always an imminent threat), and that nervousness is definitely something I use in my own work.  Also, let’s not skip over the fact that they are adorable.


paper model by Carisa Swenson

Read More »Bunnies on Parade – an interview with Carisa Swenson and Amanda Louise Spayd!

Monsters & Misfits Monday: Andrew Bell is all eyes

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How lovely is is to saunter slowly down a cobblestone path in September’s delicious early evening balm, and end up in the elegant town of Takayama, Japan. This is what I imagine for Andrew Bell’s eye riders.
saunterManeuvering into the night can be a daunting task, but if you have eyeball creatures that utilize their optic nerves and extraocular muscles to get you on your way, you are golden! These blind riders have no problem joining into the Monsters & Misfits III parade because they have their lanterns lit and their transportation wide-eyed for the path ahead.

eye ridersAndrew keeps astounding us with his work for this show, and these riders are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There is so much more to come from Andrew and the rest of the artists, you might want to keep your eyes open like these guys above!



Pumpernickel round 2 for MMIII

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Last week, we brought you some of Amanda Louise Spayd’s in progress work on her delightful resin creations for Monsters & Misfits IIINow, we get to see a finished product!
Without further ado, meet one of the Pumpernickels!
PumperComing in blended shades of blues and greys, this Pumpernickel is all dressed up for its trip to Japan. Sporting a flag scarf similar to some of its cousins found in Migration, this little resin Dust Bunny can’t wait to meet all his fans in Takayama. We don’t know if it is the coffee, the long flight, or excitement but by the look in his eyes, Pumpernickel is both excited and scared. We understand, long flights freak us out too.

Amanda has outdone herself; all the Pumpernickels are hand cast, painted, and adorned by her. The weathering texture on the sculpt is spot on! Now, we just need to see the rest of the Pumpernickel colony in Japan!


This isn’t the Shai Hulud ride? MMIII

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Recently, we brought you this dandy of a “work in progress” image from Brandt Peters and Kathie Olivas that led us all a twitter with excitement.
hard at work 2Speculation grew – a pumpkin greeter Skelve? Pumpkin lanterns? Now, we can put all the guesses  to rest because we have a finished design!

I thought I was riding Shai HuludKathie and Brandt  have created a truly magical piece for Monsters & Misfits IIIThat amazing pumpkin head threw us all a curve ball, because the proud noggin sits atop a lovely collared double-breasted coat worn by Kathie’s “Elizabeth”.

We all know proper parade participants must look dapper, so a very chimney like top hat is perched on our pumpkin friend’s head. But – what perfectly accentuates this gent is his choice of travel. To get him through the parade route, he is accompanied by a glorious segmented worm with numerous folds and a proud smile.  Hands down, this is awesome!

The gloves are off with the artists because Monsters & Misfits III is less than a month away!

Chris Ryniak’s Monster Spirits

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Chris Ryniak’s brain is a limitless fountain of monster making ingenuity, and the recent appearance of a happy little lumpy idol on his Instagram feed made us all squeal in delight. These brightly coloured little doofuses are all set to wreak havoc and mischief, but we’re likely to forgive them because sitting at just 3.5″ high, they’re just so damn cute.


Despite being busy putting the finishing touches on some creatures for Monsters and Misfits III, and even busier hustling the others into shipping crates, Chris took the time to answer a few questions about these little Monster Spirits, and his upcoming trip to Japan!

Borbogule: Monster Spirit of Mischief

Borbogule: Monster Spirit of Mischief

CP: What’s your point of inspiration for these little monster spirits? 
CMR: My creatures are inherently invisible to humans, so it only makes sense that something exists that is invisible to them.

The Nuggleworts carry effigies of them on their heads to celebrate mischief and fun in the night parade.

CP: Besides Mischief, what other spirits do you have lined up?  
CMR: I hadn’t thought that far ahead, you may have just given me an idea!


What are you looking forward to the most on your return trip to Japan? 
CMR: Besides the food? The time worn architecture and strong sense of culture. Oh, and MANNERS, everyone is so polite!

What was your favourite experience the first time?
CMR: There were so many amazing experiences the first time, some of which took me by surprise.

We followed the Spring festival parade at night down a quiet street, when all of the Yatai floats stopped moving and everyone, including the crowd, started singing in unison.  It was haunting and beautiful, like something from another world.

Your larger sculptures are jawdropping. Will we be seeing more of those in the future; are you finding yourself drawn to larger formats?
CMR: THANKS! I have always wanted to work big…like BIG big, like 20-feet-tall big!  Working large has some real challenges and limitations, but it’s something I plan on doing periodically in the future.

Until someone offers a room with 20-foot ceilings and a cargo truck, I may have to keep the pieces between 3 and 4 feet high.