Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Udderly Wonderful

Today I discovered the beautiful work of artist and designer Fliss Dodd. Under the label Udder she has created a series of quirky and very endearing "handmade friends" that offer an alternative to mass-produced kids toys.

Each friend has its own character as a result of the fabric choices and combinations, but the entire range reminds me of the books we have collected from a time when all kids' soft toys were made by hand. There is something more quintessentially child-like about a handmade soft toy, a kind of naivete that seems to free the imagination so much more than the very realistic animals or cartoon replica fluff of the last few decades.

The Udder products also enjoy the additional status of being ethically produced, ecologically sound, and reflective of traditional Balinese fabric craft. Future plans will see benefits towards the protection of the Bali environment, giving back to the country where Fliss and family spend much of their time.

My favourites are the foxes, but I am also partial to the penguin below.



Off I went to have a look at the Udder online shop, and there I discovered an even lovelier surprise. There is an Udder range of children's clothing and accessories. 

Secretly, it was the photography that struck me. That exquisite raw cement wall with the occasional chalk marks is an inspired choice of backdrop. And the range of poses is perfect - from indifferent to reluctant, chuffed to slightly chafed. Like kids really are, wearing clothes that kids could really wear. I also loved the contrast between the warm and the cool lighting/processing. 


You can check out the clothing and the handmade friends here. Pay special attention to the drawings on the shirts. Kids designing for kids - gotta love that. Be sure to have a look at the blog too.

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