We talk all things woolly with talented crochet designer and pom-pom champion, Sammy Owens
Where did your crafting journey begin?
Before I became a pom-pom designer and sculptor, I started up my own business making crochet blankets and clothes while on maternity leave with my daughter, Ruby. I was a full-time Veterinary Nurse before that but I have always enjoyed crafting and now I’m constantly trying to stand out from the crowd.
What first sparked your interest in creating pom-poms?
I was making a crochet blanket for a baby whose mummy said I could do whatever I wanted, so I decided to add pom-pom sheep on the corners. It got me thinking, “What other pom-pom animals could I make?” I sat at my makeshift desk and made a pom-pom bunny with a floral headband and the rest is history. I started taking orders for dozens of bunnies and I couldn’t believe it! I had found my ‘thing’ and it was so exciting!
Tell us more about your giant pom-poms.
One day my partner, David, said I should have a go at making a huge life-size pom-pom. He is handy with tools so I designed a giant pom-pom loom and he made it for me. It’s rickety and rough but it does the job. Sculpting a giant pom-pom takes hours and hours and I am constantly trimming it even when I am supposedly finished, but I love making them!
How do you give each and every animal its own personality?
Every ear or feature I make is cut by hand and I don’t use stencils. They are all different to one another. I make a lot of bunnies but somehow they all have their own character which I love watching come to life as I trim them. This is the most enjoyable part of my job for me, giving them individuality and seeing their little faces come to life.
Do you have a favourite make?
My favourite giant pom-pom is the beautiful deer I made on Channel 4’s Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas a couple of years ago. He was a little rushed as I only had four hours to make him on the show, but I am extremely proud as he gave me my winning trophy and sits on the wall in our house! I just couldn’t bring myself to sell him. My favourite thing is when a customer asks for something I haven’t made yet – I’m making a giant Highland cow soon and I can’t wait!
What do you most enjoy about running your workshops?
I have always been petrified of teaching and was so nervous when I taught workshops at The Handmade Fair but I loved it so much! Hopefully, I’ll be doing a lot more of this in the new year. But I couldn’t possibly do just that, I love designing and making too much!
Are there any other crafts you love?
I am always tempted by other crafts and I still love to crochet. Plus, I’ve just started to learn how to needle punch. I also have dreams of making a huge weave for our house one day, but I never get the time! For now, I’m sticking to making pom-poms!
Check out all of Sammy’s cute creations at rubyandthesquirrel.com
Want more pom-pom goodness? Don’t miss Make It Today’s Pom-Pom Mag ‘n’ Makes, issue 48, on sale from 10th October!