This is the story about how I came to make the plush animals I call Stumpes.
A childhood plushie called Stumpe
When I was 6 years old I bought a plush animal as a present for Father’s Day, that I ended up keeping for myself. I called him Stumpe, he had the appearance of a sitting mouse, with a long thin woven tail and rounded ears, and a blue tummy saying ”You’re the Best!” (Du är Bäst!) in Swedish. He was manufactured by Import Presenta AB under the brand name “Glyttar”. Stumpe was a valuable friend that was brought everywhere; I even built a little life jacket for him when I went fishing with my family. Later the same year, I got two more Stumpes with a green tummy saying “You’re the Greatest!” (Du är Toppen!) in Swedish.
Stumpe was a valuable friend that was brought everywhere; I even built a little life jacket for him when I went fishing with my family.
Eventually the original three became torn from all the love, and I bought yet another Stumpe. As the years passed by, these kind of plush animals stopped being available at the stores, I didn’t see them again until I walked into a second hand store at the age of 12, where I found my last Stumpe. He had a wider body type, bigger ears and was manufactured by Bonnier Presenta AB, but still under the brand Glyttar. It seemed like a whole lot of completely new plush animals had been donated, which made me believe that they were no longer being manufactured. Together with him, I got several other Glyttar that had the appearances of other animals, such as a dog.
the Stumpe made with love
Yet again the Stumpes I had got more torn with time, and I decided to try and make my own Stumpe in my early twenties. I managed to create a pattern by taking apart one of the other Glyttar I got from the second hand store. Around the same time, my mother suffered a terrible stroke that kept her at the hospital for months, and I made my first Stumpe for her, hoping it would give her the same strength and comfort as I had felt over the years. Stumpa, as my mom called her, was made of old bed sheets.
Around the same time, my mother suffered a terrible stroke that kept her at the hospital for 6 months, and I made my first Stumpe for her, hoping it would give her the same strength and comfort as I had felt over the years.
A while after making Stumpa, I started working more on the pattern and bought some fabrics and textile pens to start the Stumpe making process. In the beginning it was a challenge to paint the face and get the overall appearance right. When I look back at all the Stumpes I made, it’s a really big difference between the first ones and how they look now. I still think no Stumpe looks like the other, it doesn’t matter if I use the same fabric and faces, they all get something unique! For me, the most important part is the expression and feeling I want the Stumpe to portrait. I like to throw in details here and there, like freckles or small symbols to make them more individual. Usually the Stumpe has it’s own name on the tummy that describes their personality, like ”Smart-Stumpe” who is obviously a really bright kid.
For me, the most important part is the expression and what kind of feeling I want the Stumpe to portrait.