Maker Profile – Gunny

Today we feature a maker from Orient, Ohio, USA known as Gunny (aka Holly L. Sampson). 

Gunny 3

When and how did you first become a Maker?

I’ve been making things for as long as I can remember. My mother is a tinkerer and artist (I truly envy her workshop, she has EVERYTHING) and after my father retired from the military he did electrical contracting as well as tinkering in the garage. Both of my older sisters are artists as well. I grew up surrounded by people who create so it was only natural that I should do the same. I really took off in my creations when I was still very young, about 6 or 7, when started rewriting stories that I wasn’t satisfied with the ending of and making my plain old boring Barbies into faeries and mermaids.

What are your favorite type of things that you make or mod? What materials do you like to use?

I usually make a lot of wearable items; costumes, goggles, jewelry, etc. but I love building oversize props. I’ll use any material I have at hand and finding a new product or object to work with tends to prompt late nights and long hours in my craft room (or if it’s large, the immediate and complete takeover of my living room as a workspace).  I don’t put any limits on what I will work with or what I will make, if it comes to mind, I DO IT!

What was the most challenging thing that you’ve ever made or modified?

Gunny 4In college I decided to build a walk in diorama. It consisted of a full size wooden screen door, incorporated a pallet for the floor over which I build a small woodland scene with small anthropomorphic animals (each stood about 20″ tall, with cast latex heads and paws and soft sculpted bodies), the screen held news clippings of current events and the little creatures were posed, looking up in puzzlement at what they read.
It was large, I showed it at Shawnee State U and MARcon, and it did not travel easily. But I loved working on it, from the making and casting of the molds to the moderate woodworking on the main piece. 

Which piece do you consider your masterpiece? 

I have a few favorites, but I won’t settle on one as a masterpiece yet. I have yet to make that one and someone else will probably have to tell me when it happens.

What is your current and/or future project?

I have several in the works including a few outfits, some small jewelry pieces, a couple of Nerf mods and several goodies that will be known only when they are ready to be shown. If I ever have less than a dozen projects in the works at once, I may be ILL!

What advice would you give to people new to making and modifying?

Gunny 1Don’t worry about what you “can” or “can’t” do. No one is born knowing how to paint or sew or carve, etc. Everyone learns and anyone CAN learn. If you aren’t sure about what you are doing, ask someone, or look it up in a book (yes, those are still around…just like a computer but it doesn’t glow). Don’t be afraid to make a mistake and go ahead and experiment. The worst you could do is make a mess, and you never know, that mess might turn out to be something worth while as well.


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