Jess Hutch.

Monday, January 29, 2007


So I'm embarking on a new project. A BIG new project. About a month ago I woke up and said "I've got to make a big toy! And I'll pose him all over town! And..." I kind of wouldn't shut up about it, ask my coworkers.

I know that big toys have been made in the past (see this 8 foot teddy bear which kind of gives me nightmares... and of course the big pink bunny that is utterly remarkable), but I'm excited to see what one of my toys will look like in a larger scale. I'm going to make him about 4 feet tall. I'm 5'3", so he'll come up to my armpit, I think. He's not going to look like the guy in the illustration above, by the way, at least color-wise.

Since this project is going to take a while - I've calculated that it will be the equivalent of two hand-knitted adult-size sweaters - I figured I would do the unthinkable (for me): post images of the toy in progress. I'm starting him this week, as I've just finished up some projects, and hopefully in a week or so I'll have a head or arm to present. Perhaps.

I also want to solicit advice - anyone out there familiar with building large-scale wire armatures for sculpture? I want to be able to pose the toy, or at least stabilize him for photo-taking purposes, so if you have any experience in this field, please email me (jess[at]jesshutch[dot]com). Thanks!

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Hello. Thank you for all the great comments on the fabric.

Blogging is kind of strange, don't you think? Is there any historical precedent for it? Sometimes I think it's a lot like having a column in a newspaper, then I think it's more akin to show & tell in elementary school.

Anyway, one of the most unexpected but extremely positive results of my starting this here blog (that you are currently reading) has been the really great people I've met, either in person or through email and letters. Events of this week have really brought this home... I continue to be amazed by the people whose blogs I read, or who comment on my blog, or who post stuff on flickr. I'm about to get slightly name-droppy but I really wanted to share all the cool blog-related stuff that's happened this week...

So Thursday I went to a birthday party for Lisa C. at Diana's apartment - Lisa S., Shash, and Mati were also there. It was ridiculously fun. Every single one of these women are funny, smart, and talented... Then on Friday I received an amazing little package from Abby - we're trading some moo cards, and hers are so incredible, but she also stuck some little collages in there that made my day. Friday night I went to Rain's birthday party - I've known Rain since before either of us had a blog, but she inspired me to have one of my own, and I read hers every day. It's hilarious. Rachael and Chuck were there, both of whom have fabulous blogs that you must read. Then on Saturday, I received a beautiful neck-warmer in the mail from Natasha (her blog is here). She read this post about my sad cold apartment, and sent me something to help keep warm. And all week I've been getting really great comments about the fabric I printed...

Holy moly. Blogging is sometimes hard - it's hard to figure out what my "voice" is, how much to reveal, it's sometimes difficult for me to find things I want to write about, or to find the time or energy - but after a week like this it seems worth it. More than worth it. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


printed fabric
I've been screenprinting images of little dudes onto fabric for a while now, cutting them out (along the outline) and sewing them to another piece of fabric to make toys. Then recently I had the bright idea to just print my own fabric, which I could cut out any old way to make toys, certainly, but also anything I wanted to. I don't sew clothes, I kind of avoid it actually, but wouldn't it be fun to make some nice slacks out of this here fabric?

Basically I just doodled for an hour in my sketchbook, scanned the page into photoshop, moved stuff around so it would fit nicely on a screen, then printed it out. I got a transparency made at Kinko's, then I burned the screen and printed the fabric. I put the image sideways so I could pull the fabric through from left to right. The whole thing is kind of risky... you're ostensibly trying to print a whole length of fabric, but if you're not the most experienced screenprinter in the world (like me), you can easily foul up one print, thereby disrupting the flow. That only happened once or twice, and it was never really that messed up, so I'm pretty pleased. And anyway, it's not like I'm making drapes, I'll only be using bits of the fabric so any mess-ups can be cut around.

The width of my fabric was limited by the width of my screen (it's about 12 inches wide), although I can imagine that using a bigger screen, or printing in multiple columns along the length of the fabric, could result in wider fabric. For my purposes, though, this worked fine.

Hey! Amy (of angry chicken) recently posted about her own fantastic fabric design ideas. I love these, especially the spiky floral one and the one she describes as having hairy and "mildy creepy biomorphic shapes". Ha!

Friday, January 19, 2007


moo mini cards
I got some MOO cards a while back, but I'm home sick with a(nother) cold so I thought I'd discuss. Do you know about these? Am I the last one to know about these?

You choose up to 100 images from your flickr set, and the MOO folks print 100 wee cards with the contact info of your choosing on the back. If you choose 25 images, you get four of each, if you choose 100 you get one of each, etc. They're about half the size of business cards.

Though I risk sounding like an ad - I don't generally do product reviews on my blog - I love these cards. They're pricey - $20 for 100 - but the quality, both the image and the paper, is incredible. They're thicker and more heavy duty than your average business card, more substantial, and they feel very satiny/matte and professional. Love.

I want to keep them. I think I'll make two piles - MOOs to keep and MOOs to give. Guess which pile will be bigger?

If you have some MOO cards, too, let me know and maybe we can trade, just like Laura Ingalls Wilder and her friends traded their name cards in, was it, These Happy Golden Years? I think? If I think about that book any longer I'm going to start weeping so I think I'd better wrap this post up, pronto.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

long legs

modern toy
Here's a new modern toy. This one's going to Lisa Solomon in a swaperoo. I was inspired by the colors in Lisa's recent work. Isn't it a thoroughly modern toy?

Do you guys like Jonathan Richman? Whenever I use the word "modern", I think of him. In his song "Modern World", he sings:

"Well listen
Well the modern world is not so bad
Not like the students say
In fact I'd be in heaven
If you'd share the modern world with me"

This is what comes to mind when I think about "modern". Also, the Eameses.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Friday, January 05, 2007

auction is back up!

Hey there - the issues with the auction have been resolved, and it is now back up. Callooh! Callay! Thanks Lisa & Stephanie.

's a link to all the items for the Kim Family Benefit Auction on eBay.

's a link to the official auction blog (you can get more information about the auction there).

And here's a link to the auction for my knitted robot.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

robot for sale

Just popping in to say that the Kim Family Benefit Auction is now up and running, so the robot I recently made is now for sale - 100% of the proceeds will go to the James Kim Memorial Fund.

Here's a link to the eBay page with all the extraordinary items for sale, and here's a link to the blog that describes and features each of the items. Many thanks and kudos to Lisa Congdon, Stephanie Barnes, and Gerrie Congdon for organizing this.

Oh, here's the robot. Let me know if you have any questions!

EDITED TO ADD (on Thursday, 1/4): eBay has removed the whole benefit auction for a variety of reasons. The folks in charge are currently trying to figure out a backup plan, but in the meantime, all previous bids are lost and no bids can currently be taken. This is obviously a big disappointment and the cause of a lot of stress for the good people organizing the whole thing, but I think a solution will be found. I'll let you know when I hear something!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


The apartment's been a bit chilly lately, so I devised a clever scheme to keep warm.

Happy 2007, everyone!