Cat Rabbit and the cutest felt plushies ever

from Annalisa Chelli - 3 November 2019

Annalisa Chelli

Community Manager at DHGshop
Sicily and Tuscany are in my blood. Travelling, movies, music, and art are the things I enjoy the most. I love whales, tattoos, the sea, Africa, good food, big smiles, Picasso, ‘The Master and Margarita’, and ‘Marriage Italian Style’. I believe in Charles Darwin and in the proverbs my grandmother said.
Annalisa Chelli

We’re jetting over to Melbourne, Australia today to the home studio of Cat Rabbit. A place where felt, thread, scissors and glue are the norm. It’s also where Cat has fun making plush works, brooches and charms and is helped by Porco, her cat and her friend Isobel. A well-suited trio that before getting down to work, always bake biscuits ready for tea-time.

Coloured felt plushies

After having chosen the material from our felt and extra fine merino wool collections, Cat made three fluffy friends exclusively for us, who all share the same passion for crafting: Binky the pug, Buster the rabbit and Arthur the cat. These funny animals are all fully dressed and are enjoying themselves in a room crammed with felt, balls of yarn, books and CDs and biscuits and tea. Everything has been thought of, right down to the last detail and the outcome is amazing! We’ve fallen in love with Cat Rabbit, and no doubt you will too.

Browse through the photo gallery and check out the interview with Cat.

Cat Rabbit: sewing and baking biscuits is her recipe for happiness

Where are you born and raised? Where do you live now?
I was born and raised in the North West of Tasmania, surrounded by bush and animals (lots of rabbits). I now live in Melbourne, Victoria – significantly less bush but still one rabbit (Pipo) and my cat, Porco.

Your source of inspiration?
Very everyday things inspire me. The process of creating things, whether it be sewing or baking or otherwise, always makes me feel energised and inspired. Outside of making, I sometimes like the feeling of being very anonymous in a large crowd of people, just observing great outfits and characters. Other times, solitude helps – pottering in the garden or something. Oh and I LOVE karaoke. A good karaoke session will keep my inspiration tank full for a while.

Pug by Cat Rabbit in our extra fine merino wool
Cat Rabbit. Australian textile artist.

Your best quality?
I think I am very persistent and patient. I don’t think I would be able to do what I do without a significant amount of patience.

What is your perfect day like?
To be honest, it would probably be heavily structured around food. I love breakfast foods! So it would start with a boiled egg, toast soldiers, orange juice and perhaps a little bowl of porridge or yoghurt and a coffee. I love wandering around and just observing things – so an art gallery or a library or just a new place I have not seen before. Throw in some pastries, some good friends and a bit of lap time with my cat and I’d be happy.

A fluffy rabbit wearing glasses made using thermoformable felt
Online fibre shop

A sound or a smell which immediately connect you with your work?
The smell of baking really gets me in the mood to sew. I think it probably goes back to when I was little – mum would tell me to go and keep myself busy and make something while she baked something delicious for afternoon tea.

How social media changed the way to be an artist?
I think it’s made it more of a reality to be an artist – people can share their techniques, and how they go about their routine and basically demystify the creative process. I like to share a more fantastical view – such as my characters coming to life on my desk – and so for me I present my character’s lives more than my own. It is a challenge moving with the changes and shifts but I think it’s important to remember that social media is essentially a tool that you can use in a way that works best for you.

Cat by Cat Rabbit made using felt
Cat Rabbit turns our felt and our wool into plushies

Do you have a ritual before starting a new project?
Too much ritual gets in the way of me starting, so I like to just plunge in! I compare it to just jumping in to cold water at the beach – one of my dear friends calls it “no nonsense swimming” – I apply this same technique to sewing. No nonsense sewing!

Your plushies are so colorful and funny, how did they born in your mind and what do you express with them?
I like to let the characters evolve without much of a plan – the sculptural process by which I make them means that the final look is always a bit unexpected for me. I like this uncertainty, and I feel it gives each character a unique quality. I like to think I express a range of personalities in my characters. The main hope is that they provide a sense of comfort and a little happiness for people.

If you liked this felt themed article, you might like this really cute tutorial on making felt coasters too!

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