Why I’ve had sock monkeys on the brain lately I just dont know but I’m sure glad I did! Besides being the subject of this week’s haiku comic, I’ve been playing with sock monkeys in my jewelry designs and due to their trademark red mouth, decided to try allowing a splash of color to my pen and ink, black and bone style. The result made me so happy that I’ve been working some red into some other pieces as well. All thanks to sock monkey lips!
Here’s a brand new ring and bottle cap pendant necklace I made using the new sock monkey design. As always, the polymer clay is hand formed and the art work is done in pen, ink and red paint by hand – no stencils, etc. No two pieces are ever exactly alike and these are currently available in my Etsy shop.
So I was curious about where these crazy monkeys came from. There is an awful lot of artwork inspired by them and various versions of the sock monkeys themselves, but who is responsible for the original sock monkey? That question seems to have no definite answer but what is for certain is that the Nelson Knitting Mills came up with the famous Rockford Red Heel socks that give the monkeys their famous red mouths. Apparantly, they came out with the first seamless heeled socks and were immediately being imitated so to set their original socks apart they added the red heel which give the sock monkeys their famous mouths. This was back in the 1890s and soon after someone came up with the sock monkey doll which spread like a zombie virus. By 1920, the sock monkey dolls were so well known that the Nelson Knitting Mills began to add an instruction sheet with every package of their Rockford Red Heel socks.
Rockford Red Heel Socks and an original sock monkey:
So today I join the many artists who have been inspired by sock monkeys. Google around and you’ll find so many other derivites of the originals in doll form, on paintings, fashion, etc. Take for example this fabulous sock monkey gown by Rebecca Yaker of Hazel and Melvin’s Room. For only $1,500 bucks you can get a custom made sock monkey dress of your very own!
If you are interested in making a sock monkey, checking out the history or old advertisements or anything else sock monkey related SuperSockMonkey.com is a pretty cool site for that.
I’ll be part of the Live Art After Dark event in Ybor City, Tampa at the Ybor Art Studio (the one on 27th and 7th Ave) Saturday night selling jewelry, paintings and GingerDead Greeting Cards. More Info…
Okay, that’s all from me. How about some haiku from you?