What will you think of when you hear of Gothic Dolls? What if you add Punk accessories to Gothic Dolls?
The visual can be quite impactful, isn’t it? What if all of these are handcrafted? Wow!
Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2012 introduces the next Maker on our list, Ng Ling Ling, a doll maker.
Ling and her Dolls
Ling (http://www.etsy.com/shop/sugarpunk/about) began making dolls in 2007. Her first doll was a cloth doll version of Marilyn Manson. Since then, she has made numerous Goth and Punk dolls, branching out into Bunka dolls and other soft sculpture.
When asked why Ling makes her own dolls, she expressed that people who make their own toys tend not to toss them, unlike commercially made ones, because they would recognise the effort that has gone into making it as compared to just buying it off the shelves.
Handmade/re-purposed clothes and accessories
Ling feels the same for clothes and accessories. To Ling, making your own clothes and accessories similarly makes you appreciate them better. It is also this line of thought that encouraged her to re-purpose second-hand or unsold stock, making accessories out of waste materials, which is a form of hacking too! Ling acclaimed that she is a hoarder, with an enormous stash of yarn and textiles (but aren’t all crafters hoarders? :P) So, SugarPunk also stocks knitted purses and other sewn items, besides gothic items (adding sugar to the punk!).
Ultimately, Ling hopes to see consumers shift towards an appreciation of quality rather than quantity, citing the examples of better quality, hand-stitched Victorian or Edwardian clothes that are made to last.
Making materials from scratch
What interests me most was the fact that Ling also makes her own materials from scratch.
When I asked Ling for her views on the Maker community in Singapore, she expressed that she is aware of a large crafting community in SG but not many who makes materials from scratch, e.g casting their own jewellery pieces in resin, spinning, weaving etc probably due to the availability of raw materials. To Ling, being a crafter makes you think about the resources and human effort that goes into making things, for instance, weaving cloth or spinning yarn.
She has her own hand-spindle! She shared that she bought the hand-made drop spindle from Etsy and she is still learning how to use it. She shared that hand-spinning would give the yarn a nice hand-made feel as the yarn would not be even and would be more chunky. She intended to incorporate cloth strips, ribbons and threads – anything that can be twisted.
Why Ling is taking part in Singapore Mini Maker Faire
Ling shared that she visited the Maker Faire in NY City last year, and it was very exciting to meet so many Makers in person.
Having watched many videos of Maker Faires in other countries, I think I can understand how it can truly inspire a maker to want to show and share their work, and for a looker to become a maker.
Come join us on 4 & 5 August, and experience that excitement together with us. :)