The materials and techniques series is a collection of interviews with other creators of handmade crafts. Every fortnight we talk about how each artist makes their creations. Today I am talking with Patricia and Isabel who make toys, puppets, jewellery and artwork. Their online store is Minorca ("little one" in Portuguese) and although they are currently based in Ireland, they are both Portuguese. Pat and Isa are fellow members of the EtsyKids team.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
Pat and Isa are a mum and daughter team of two artists from Portugal
passionate about illustration and children toys. They currently live in
Dublin and their shop took a little vacation while they were travelling
the seas looking for inspiration and new adventures.
Pat is a Publishing grad, with a special interest in design, children
books, educational and behavior development, and illustration. She's a
book lover, a storyteller and a vegetarian.
Isa is a painter and an arts and crafts geek! She has a joyful
personality and puts that energy in everything she creates. Her inner
child is always ready to come out and play! She loves spring flowers,
sparkly things and miniature softies to cuddle and play.
What materials and techniques do you like to use?
Mostly, we work with felt and fabrics (mostly cotton), wool and clay to
mold our hand painted brooch pins, acrylics and watercolor, and foam for
professional puppets. To make our soft miniature dolls and play sets we
like to use the different textures but keep a natural feel and plush
toy touch to the toy. We know sensory development is important in
younger ages, so we are want to include even more eco-friendly materials
and textures in our future designs.
What challenges have you faced in the creative process?
As toy makers, we are always thinking about the kids, what will they
like to play with and how can we make it both fun and educational.
Recently, we've been challenging ourselves to go beyond the fun and have
in mind the creation of toys that have in mind children with special
needs (e.g.: autism, muscular dystrophy). So that is our current
personal challenge and our inspiration for future creations.
What drives you to create?
Our shop reflects our passion and values in every child friendly and
educational toy we make. We believe it is important to surround
children with positive influence, natural textures, colour and happiness
during their development. We also believe that toys can be not only fun,
but also a tool to develop imagination, social, communication and motor
skills, so we work towards creating soft toys and professional puppets
that will invoke that in all children, including those who have special
We are always thinking back to our own experience as kids, from two
different generations. Pat loved to play in the dirt, she was always
connected to nature and animals (she used to have pet chickens!), so she
always loved miniature softies. Isa loved to "play house" with her
dolls. We believe it's important to create options to the constant flow
of technological entertainment around kids, giving them a way to connect
with nature and non-tech environments.
What is coming up next?
To keep growing, to make new toy
designs, explore more materials, and give some focus to Isa's art in form
of toys, not only wearable art jewellery.
Apart from that, we want to start a Blog and get more connected with people! We hope to achieve this last goal very soon.
As you can see, we love to chat!! So, by all means, visit our Facebook
page and say "hi!", we will love to hear from you. You can also reach
out to us on Pinterest (we love it!! it's like a waterfall of creativity
and fun!!). And, of course, visit our shop and spread the love. :) We
will be immensely grateful. :)
Use coupon code 5THANKS for 5% off.
All images provided by Pat and Isa of Minorca.
I'd love to hear about what you create. Have a browse through the archive of previous interviews and then share your story with us.