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Your Name: Harriet Godden
Name of Business: Sausage Dog
Artform/Specialisms: Sculpture, textiles, fine art, soft toys
How would you describe the items you produce, who buys them and for what purpose or occasion?
I design and make character-based soft toys, puppets and dolls. I would describe my products as cute and funny, but also gruesome and creepy. They are based on my own illustrations and paintings, which I also sell in my studio. Most of my creations are made from recycled clothes and remnants, and each one is unique. My toys are entirely for the purpose of enjoyment, comfort and laughter, to inspire and stimulate the imagination. Because of this, they appeal to (and are aimed at) all ages. Although I must point out that they are not suitable for babies, and children who still enjoy chewing things!
What are the things that have inspired, and continue to inspire, your work?
I take inspiration from everything I look at, constantly absorbing my surroundings and storing images in my head. My strongest influences come from the people around me, their stories and personalities. Both the dark and the humorous elements of human nature are a source of fascination. I’m also inspired by films, music, books and art of all disciplines.
When you are not producing new work, what do you like to spend your time doing and why?
When I’m in the studio and I need a break, I practice juggling! When I’m not crafting, I can often be found in the kitchen or the garden, I love growing my own food and then cooking up a storm! My other love aside from art, is music. I love any kind of music, play the drums and like watching bands, and dancing and singing.
If you were asked to describe the experience of visiting Manchester Craft & Design Centre to someone who has yet to come along, what would you tell them?
When you walk into Manchester Craft & Design Centre, you immediately get a sense of peace. I think this is because of the meditative energy that permeates the walls of all the studios, filled with artists deep in concentration, creating something they love and feel passionate about. For me, there is no place I would rather be than in my studio, with my head in a world of ideas. I believe that this is what visitors to the Centre really enjoy, seeing that process and all the wonderful creations that come about as a result.