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Sock Monkey Scraps

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

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.

sock monkey ring by calan ree

sock monkey necklace

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:

red heel socksoriginal 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!

sock monkey dress

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.

Event News

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? 

<3 calan

21 Responses to “Sock Monkey Scraps”

  1. Seraphine Says:

    nobody had said
    my feet look like monkey feet
    nor leftover feet

    imagine surprise
    i awoke with feet taken
    hand of god in me

    my lips painted red
    dark buttons sewn to my eyes
    zombie monkey me

  2. Seraphine Says:

    i love the idea of sockmonkey jewelry, calan. fun fun fun.
    i hope you sell a sock drawer full of them!

  3. calan Says:

    oooh, sera that is a disturbing cluster of haiku. love it! thanks for the positive feedback on the jewelry, too. 🙂

  4. Dylan Says:

    simian socks sewn
    strangely simple standard sight
    suits sev’ral settings

  5. calan Says:

    dylan, not only a haiku but a tongue twister haiku – that’s pure dylan marvin for you! 😛 see you on saturday night at the live art after dark. friends the shill together, dont kill eachother….or something like that!

  6. Jim Says:

    Sock monkeys bring smiles
    “no more smelly feet!” they shout
    Red lips smile away!

  7. Anne Van Atta Says:

    Sock monkeys are cool
    love the splash of lipstick red
    make some cufflinks, please

  8. Lynne Hansen Says:

    Not sock-monkey related, but appropriate for an insomniac author at 11:44 pm who has to get up at 5:15 am:

    Too weary for sleep,
    I languish at the keyboard.
    What will I write next?

  9. Chance Says:

    I laughed at today’s comic. 😉

  10. justme Says:

    I came across this online today–it’s somewhere in my neighborhood:


  11. calan Says:

    that made my day, justme! too funny

  12. Hannah Says:

    I love the dress!!! I love sock monkeys i think there the coolest thing EVER……..

  13. Michelle Says:

    I would love to find out how I can order the sock monkey necklace. How much is it? I didn’t see it on your Etsy website.
    Thanks Michelle

  14. calan Says:

    there’s one available here michelle:


  15. Susan Woods Says:

    I looooooove Sock Monkeys. Your stuff is awesome. Were you at the licensing show in 2009? The “i love you more than frozen peas” is hilarious…GOOD STUFF! My friend know I am a Sock Monkey Luva and sent me your link…Think I MUST have that bottle cap neklace. Good luck w/ your brand.

  16. calan Says:

    hi susan. i wasn’t at the licensing show. i do everything myself right now but licensing is something i think about now and then. the sock monkey appears on my jewelry line (all hand illustrated on polymer) consistently and if there isn’t a sock monkey piece in the etsy store, i usually have one or am making one. just message me if you dont see one in the store and i’ll take a photo of what i have in the studio or i’ll make you one. calan(AT!)GingerDead(dot)(com).

  17. coraline Says:

    i need a sock monkey i want to sniggle with it

  18. Kelly Coffey Says:

    Do you still have the sock monkey ring for sale? Didn’t see it on your website?

  19. calan Says:

    hi kelly. i will list one this week! thanks 🙂

  20. Madison Wagner-Olivo Says:

    I LOVE SOCK MONKEYS where do you get those rings and neclaces

  21. calan Says:

    hi Madison! the rings or necklaces are in my etsy store when available. all the jewelry is hand illustrated by me and so what i have in stock fluctuates. i’m planning on listing more pieces this week and i’ll definitely add a sock monkey for you. the shop is here: http://www.GingerDead.etsy.com – i’ll try to have one up by Tuesday. if you have a preference btw a ring or necklace let me know.

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