TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Guest Artist: Inese Smelters of Monkey House

Canadian artist Inese Smelters of Toronto is my first guest on Fiber Focus. She also sells on Etsy under the name PlanetMonkey. I love her ability of transforming a sock into a character with such expression and life, bringing a little humor into the world of fiber. Surely we all know a Madge or Sylvia! Visit her website to see all her other funny characters.


"I started making sock monkeys about 2 years ago as a rainy Saturday project with my teenagers. They loved them so much and all their friends kept taking them. I thought, "If teenaged BOYS are interested in these, there is certainly a market for sock monkeys". I applied to Canada's largest juried craft show (One of a Kind Craft Show) on a whim and was accepted.

I work full time and do the sock monkeys during ALL my down time. I never get sick of making them and I never run out of ideas. I have a website www.themonkeyhouse.ca and do the one Christmas craft show per year and have an Etsy shop. I also give sock monkey birthday parties.

Sylvia is the queen-bee of the sock monkeys and is my best seller. Recently her gruff sister Madge joined the group. New this year are the felted babies and I am sewing clothing for this Xmas show.

My goal is to have the sock monkey replace the teddy bear as the cuddly friend of choice. They just have so much more personality! I don't believe there are any commercially made sock monkeys (The Gap came out with one last year but I think it flopped) . That's the beauty of a handmade monkey - they are so homely and vintage. They literally appeal to all age groups."

-Inese Smelters



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“Sing like no one's listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth.”

“Whatever you say, say it with conviction.”

(Both by the master, Mark Twain)

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