Something’s Fishy

Image via John Bates

Straight from the hands of North Carolina’s John Bates is a gold fish like no other.


John or “Cheeks” has been working with these cartoon type characters for a couple of years now but recently has decided to jump into a physical product that is loyal to previous sketches and wall art he’s done before.


With the help of fiber artist Kat Sánchez they were able to create a pattern made out of 3 parts for this 3D plush you see above.  Through some trial and error both tried different pattern arrangements and textiles to create this shape, all of which were shared in social media during its development.

The textiles chosen at the end is soft and has the peeling appearance of felt fabric. Now when it comes to the face you see, it is not embroidered but needle felted. Embroidery is, in most cases, a long and tedious process no matter if it’s by hand or automated. Choosing needle felting is not only faster but has given Bates the flexibility to change their expressions from happy to silly and even Grumpy/Sassy like this one.


If you are looking for a new plush for a child, you’re an art enthusiast or collector think about purchasing one of these and support young artists making it in the world. If you are unable to purchase follow John and Kat , their work is exceptional and their content is one to see.

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