Meet Aimey Puhl from Wubsys
Aimey Puhl from Wubsys is a maker of fantastically imaginative, intriguing and beautifully crafted decorative dolls, inspired by fairytales, myths and woodland walks. Here Aimey tells fellow Folksy seller Jenny from Flynn and Mabel how she went from a degree in criminology to a career creating quirky creatures.
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There’s so much that goes into making a one-of-a-kind piece, not only the sewing itself but the planning, the photography, the marketing, the trial and error.Aimey Puhl, Wubsys
Hi Aimey! Can you introduce yourself and tell us what you do?
Hi Jenny, I’m Aimey, born and raised in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Mum of three. I’m a self-employed artist making decorative textile dolls and creatures. I use new and upcycled materials including cotton, felt, yarn and wool.
If you had to describe your work using only three words, what would they be?
Hmm that’s tricky, and to be honest I still have a hard time explaining to people what it is I do. But the first word I’d use is “imaginative”. My market is pretty niche but the makers I love the most pull you in with their imagination and I hope I do the same.
The second word would be “time-consuming”. I know it’s two but I checked a thesaurus and couldn’t find an adequate alternative. There’s so much that goes into making a one-of-a-kind piece, not only the sewing itself but the planning, the photography, the marketing, the trial and error and sometimes just picking out the fabric takes an age.
Thirdly, I’d say “joyful”. I really try to make something that makes people smile.
Tell us about the name of your shop, Wubsys. Where did that come from and what does it mean?
Wubsy is the name my two kids gave to the youngest when she was born. Just to be clear it’s not her actual name. But to me it was so sweetly magical. I knew the name wouldn’t last – it was fleeting and special and I wanted to keep it. It’s all down to the kids that I started sewing in the first place and it’s thanks to the support of my partner Sean that I had the confidence and opportunity to open a shop. So the name is really in homage to the four of them and that time in our lives.
What inspires you?
Almost everything, but especially folklore, myth, magic and nature. I’m especially drawn to the creepier stories, the fables and cautionary tales like Jenny Greenteeth and Krampus.
I love making the seasonal pieces. I recently made a few little imps with needle-felted leaf wings in changing autumnal colours. I’m really very lucky to live in such a picturesque part of Wales where inspiration abounds and we’ll often go on family walks around the county, through woodland and across the beaches.
I’m really very lucky to live in a picturesque part of Wales where inspiration abounds.Aimey Puhl, Wubsys
As a lover of fairytales, do you have a favourite story?
I do quite like the fables The Three Little Pigs and The Pied Piper of Hamlin. They were a little dark but they really sold being clever and paying your dues. I love the magical worlds and modern fairytales created on screen and in books. It’s perfect escapism.
Can you talk us through your creative process? Do you start with an idea for a character and then bring that to life or do they reveal themselves as you work?
I think a bit of both. When I make my one-off dolls like Frankenfrog I get ideas as I go along and add bits and pieces until it all comes together. With pieces like the cats in party hats it was the materials I wanted to play with – the glass eyes and soft plush just look so bright and fun.
But mostly I just doodle. At the end of the day my partner practices on his bass guitar, the kids play and I doodle. I have pads and pencils everywhere, full of characters and ideas. I’ll draw a goblin 50 different ways, pick my favourite and make a pattern. I usually make a small batch in different colourways but even when I try to make things identical I never can, so I guess every piece has its own, somewhat unintentional, unique charm.
You are a maker of many skills. How did you learn your craft?
I have always loved drawing. I took art at school but didn’t ever consider it as something I could make a living from, so I studied Criminology and Criminal Justice at university. But over the years I always kept my hands busy with cross-stitch and knitting. My mum taught me to crochet and my dad got me into whittling, and a lot of techniques I learned through YouTube videos. But with sewing I just got the tools and had a go.
Since opening Wubsys I’ve learned to needle felt, embroider, carve stamps and weave. I love learning new skills, especially if I can utilise them for Wubsys.
Craft helped give me back my identity. It got a little lost when I became a mum. Now being able to say I’m a self-employed artist is a dream. I think 10-year-old me would be impressed.Aimey Puhl, Wubsys
Finally, what does craft mean to you?
Craft helped give me back my identity. It got a little lost when I became a mum. Now the baby days are like a hazy, foggy memory of exhaustion and elation. I knew I didn’t want to go back out to work when they started school, so Wubsys has been the perfect alternative for me. Going from hobby sewist to having an online shop with Folksy has taken years of tiny steps of progress, hard lessons and small wins.
I love Mondays now, getting back to my sewing table, making what I love and sharing it with the world is amazing. Being able to say I’m a self-employed artist is a dream. I think 10-year-old me would be impressed.
Use code ‘woohoo’ for 10% off Wubsys – valid until 1st November 2022
Meet the interviewer
The maker asking the questions this week is Jenny from Flynn and Mabel, who creates happy embroidery hoops as well as embroidery kits, stick on stitching designs and patterns on Folksy.
Shop Flynn and Mabel here – https://folksy.com/shops/FlynnandMabel
Read more about Jenny in her Meet the Maker interview here – https://blog.folksy.com/2022/09/28/flynn-and-mabel