Have you ever read about angler fish? Until I started this little project I hadn’t either – they were just one of the creatures that I was afraid to look at but fascinated by just the same. They have, to say the least, interesting lives. Since making my New Year’s Resolution to add lights, sound and motion to my plush an angler fish seemed like a logical choice of creatures to make.
She turned out better than I imagined. I say “she” because she is 20” in length. The males are much much smaller. and parasitic. ugh.
I sketched out the pattern loosely based on a few photos and drawings of angler fish from the intertubes. I added pieces to “flesh” it out so to speak and give it the 3D quality it needed. I slashed in the gills, adding black backing felt.
The trickiest part was deciding how to do the mouth, including the teeth (those are cat tail sequins – have I mentioned that I’m entirely hooked on using sequins these days?) These were just the right amount of scary, and the perfect size, color and shape. Like all my plush this has an armature underneath and to get the mouth just right I had to stich in the armature underneath – very tricky particularly because I don’t exactly plan these things. However, that being said, the next one will be a lot easier. (Yes, I’m guessing there will be another.)
Then it was on to adding the silk organza, beads and yes, more sequins for the scales and fins. It’s hard to see but the organza (a gift from my friend Jane) is stitched on using tiny seed beads.
The final step was adding the illicium and the esca because I wanted it to light up. Thanks to the MakerShed store everything I needed was easily available with excellent instructions. So the esca is a LED light. Conductive thread runs down the illicium to the battery on the back of the fish. I stitched a little pocket to cover the battery, and to give a place to store the battery when you don’t want the light turned on. I tested this with practically every step. I was so afraid of finishing then having the thing not light up.
… and by the way, the title – not a typo. My friend Elissa kept calling it an anger fish. I like it. I think it is more appropriate because as pretty as she is, she’s still kind of creepy.
raesha April 11, 2011
I love angler fish – they are thoroughly fascinating and utterly creepy. I love the angler fish in Finding Nemo – where Nemo and Dory are mesmerized by the light:) This turned out so cool.