Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
Hi there! I'm Taylor Hart. I'm midwest gal at heart just living life and working as a fiber artist in Austin, Texas. I design and create crochet taxidermy wall decor for kids rooms as well as nurseries. I sell around town in local boutiques and online through my etsy shop. I also participate in a lot of local craft shows during the holiday season which is really fun. I also teach workshops on occasion and just recently had my very first book published. In my spare time I love hanging out in our "backyard garden" with my husband Matt and our two dogs Lucy and Sophie.
Tell us a bit about the book?
My book is a collection of animal patterns (trophy heads) that I have designed over the years. I have them split into separate themes such as "Woodland Creatures" and "Safari Friends" etc. In the beginning of each chapter I tell a little story about how I thought up the designs and why they have meaning to me. For example; the Woodland Creatures are the first critters that I came up with. The Fox was my very first design, although he's changed quite a bit over the years, he still remains my favorite because of that. The first portion of the book is more of a photo gallery peppered with beautiful illustrations and of course my little stories. The second half is a step by step guide on how to crochet the critters and then go on to mount them. It's super detailed with images to help you along the way. The patterns are pretty clear and simple and can be made by just about any skill level.
What was the inspiration behind it?
I love this question! I literally get asked this all the time and I never get sick of answering it. There's a bit of a story behind this one.....
A little over nine years ago now, my husband and I had just moved from Columbus, Ohio to Austin, Texas. I quickly found a job as a call taker working for the city, it wasn't my dream job of course but it paid the bills. In between calls I found myself with a lot of spare time on my hands so I bought a beginners crochet book and taught myself the basics. I then later discovered an Amigurumi crochet book that opened up a whole new world of fun little projects for me. One day, I was struggling to create a faux fox scarf but the fox head that I created to sew onto the end of the scarf looked super weird and wrong. I tore the head off the scarf and left it on the countertop. Later that day my husband Matt came home, saw it and laughed at it. He picked it up and put the fox head against the wall and told me that I should mount him instead. So the next day I ran out to my local craft store and bought a plaque, stained it and together we figured out how to mount him. We proudly hung him in our living room for all to see. All our friends and guests that came over loved it so much that they started to request different animals. I designed the Woodland Creatures soon after that and never looked back.
Which is your favourite project?
I'd have to say the jellyfish. They were the most fun to design and create and I still to this day never get sick of making them.
What is your craft space like?
My husband Matt is an amazing Architect, he actually designed and built my "backyard studio" with his own bare hands. It's 168 square feet with a wrap around porch with a sweet little deck that leads from our house to the studio. Like our house it's a midcentury/modern design that is painted bright turquoise to match. Most of the material was either found or recycled from old job sites. The inside is where I store all my material such as plaques, tools, stain etc. There's a designated work bench area where I mount all my little critters and a packing/shipping area where I put all my orders together. I typically do my crochet and or writing from the inside of our house either on the couch or in our dining area. I like to have my dogs Lucy and Sophie by my side while I crochet.
Have you always been creative?
Pretty much, I was always crafty as a kid. My parents enrolled me in Saturday Art School at Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) when I was in elementary school..... which is funny because that's the College that I ended up attending and graduating from with a BFA in Photography. I always knew that I excelled in the arts and and was more of a visual, creative type of person.
When did you first start crafting?
I've been crafting for years, ever since I was a wee little girl. We always had art supplies around the house and were encouraged to be creative.
I was big into drawing/coloring when I was little. I drew some pretty fantastic Mermaids (this was when I was totally obsessed with the movie "Splash"). I remember making little picture story books and binding them together after they were all colored and completed.
Who are your crafty heroes?
Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching and Vickie Howell (whom I've had the pleasure to work with) and of course Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman of A Beautiful Mess are all my crafty heroes and are all published Authors!
Where do you find inspiration?
I'm blessed to have a handful of wonderful girlfriends that I've met over the years through the Austin craft scene. We're almost all small business owners that support each other and give each other advice and raise each other up when needed. It's always good to be around other creatively driven, strong, independent women. They are all inspiring to me. I also have to say my wonderful and very creative husband Matt as well. I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for him. He is my biggest fan and biggest supporter.
What's next for you?
I'm so excited that you asked! I've currently been working on DIY Crochet Kits for the past six months and they are finally all coming together. This year has kind of been a little different for me and my crochet business. I'm in the middle of re-branding. I'm re-vamping my whole business logo and look and am having a new website designed and created for me just in time for my book launch party September 18th! I'll be unveiling everything all at once. I'm pretty excited about these kits though, I think they're gonna be a big game changer. I'm looking forward to designing more in the future and will be using them in my workshops as well. I also have managed to design some new nautical trophy heads too and am writing down all the patterns for a possible second book.
Crochet Taxidermy puts a new twist on amigurumi, the popular Japanese method of creating considerably cute stuffed animals with oversized heads. In this delightful collection, heads of animals from farm and forest, sea and safari come to life with irresistible details like the drowsy eye (for the shy deer and sleepy octopus) and fuzzy yarn (for the skittery skunk’s stripe and lazy lion’s mane). Step-by-step instructions and adorable photos guide you through these 30 easy crochet patterns. Most require just one skein of yarn, so they’re affordable and quick to crochet!