Artists ~ Liz Sauco ~ West Warwick

Artist’s name: Liz Sauco
Shop name: Llamagurumi

1. Tell us about your work
I make amigurumi, which means I crochet plushies! Usually pokemon and pokemon-related paraphernalia, but I also crochet Disney princesses, dolls dressed in kimono, and cute animals like owls and turtles.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
My nickname among my friends is "Llama", and when I was first starting out I was struggling to find a name. I asked around for ideas, and a friend recommended "Llamagurumi", since I was Llama, who makes amigurumi. I liked it, and it's been the name ever since.

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
Well, I had decided to watch all 19 season of the Power Rangers, and needed something to do with my hands. I had recently picked up a book called "Yummy Crochet" - it had instructions on how to crochet food items like doughnuts and hamburgers - and I decided to try that. Somewhere around season 14 I was asked if I could crochet a cute beholder demon, so I looked around, found a pattern, modified it slightly, and crocheted it. I was super proud of it, and brought it to work with me to show the other employees, one of whom asked if I would be able to make an Oshawott (a cute otter pokemon) for him. I found a pattern, started to crochet it, decided I did not like the pattern, scrapped it, and started again, making my own pattern this time. After this I started to get requests from other friends and acquaintances, then people I didn't know personally, and there you go - the beginnings of business!

4. Where do you draw your inspiration?
Mostly from other amigurumi artists. We all have different ways of doing things and different techniques, and I'm always on the lookout for new techniques.
As far as inspiration for what I crochet, I work mostly on a commission basis, so it's whatever the customer wants. Sometimes, however, I am just struck with an idea randomly, and try it out.

5. What’s your favorite item to create?
My favorite item to create is probable the Plusle and Minun pokemon plushies. They are just too adorable not to love.

6. What’s your best seller?
Pokeballs. People love pokeballs. I never make enough of them.

7. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
My whole life! I've never been anywhere else.

8. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
Dell's lemonade. I can never go past a Dell's truck without stopping.

9. Any advice for new/wannabe makers?
Don't be afraid to mess up! Sometimes really cool techniques come from mistakes. Also, crochet is pretty easy to fix - certainly much easier than knit - so don't be afraid to try again. Sometimes I re-make the same piece 3 or 4 times until I'm happy with it. And don't be afraid to ask for advice!
Above all, though: Have fun!

10. Please include anything else you’d like to add:
Crochet is usually only thought of as a way to make scarves and blankets - but it's capable of making really cool, awesome things too! Think outside the box and create cool things!


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