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Crafter Kirei transforms WoW characters into works of art

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If you've ever played LittleBigPlanet, you're probably familiar with the Sack People -- crocheted little characters that can be customized with assorted bits of wardrobe to look however you'd like them to look. For crafter Bobbi, otherwise known as Kirei of Artistic Gaming, the Sack People of LittleBigPlanet have taken on a life of their own in full-out, three-dimensional, cuddly crocheted sackdolls. But Kiriei's taken the idea of crafted sack dolls one step further on her blog, crafting recreations of characters from all sorts of video games, including World of Warcraft.

The dolls shine right down to the last detail -- whether it's the tiny tusks on a Troll shaman or the delicate jewels and crystals adorning Tyrande Whisperwind's gown. Check out the gallery below for a look at the Warcraft sack dolls, and follow after the break for more from Kirei!



WoW Insider: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Kirei -- can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Kirei: Well, let's see -- this is the hard question! My name is Bobbi, but I've been going by the name Kirei online for about three years now. I played WoW for about four to five years, with breaks in between. I primarily played a NE shadow priest by the name of Cathryn in the Alliance guild Steel Legion on Darkspear. I've turned to the dark side a few times and created my BE shadow priest Kireifu on the server Icecrown. Pattern, anyone? I'm currently on a break, but the bug of WoW is always calling to me, and often times I can't say no. In real life, I'm a server and hopefully a returning student this upcoming semester.

How long have you been crafting?

I've crafted since I was a kid. Nothing in particular, though. Beading, jewelry, friendship bracelets type of stuff. You know, whatever kits were available to keep kids busy, I ended up doing. There was a time when I was a kid that I made a bunch of hemp jewelry (back when those were popular) and sold them at my aunt's gas station. I started crocheting after I tried knitting to relax my brain after work. I've only been crocheting for about five months now.

How did you start getting into making dolls?

I started to make dolls after I saw some pretty awesome-looking Sackboys online. I saw them and thought "I could do that!" And so it began. I started looking for patterns and guides on how to make a sackboy and found GoldenJellyBean showing tutorials on how to make her version. After the first doll, I realized I could really change the pattern to whatever I wanted.

What's the process of designing a doll? I imaging getting the dolls to look just right takes a little time!

Lots of screenshots. Lots and lots of screenshots! After the screenshots, I create a drawing based on my third-grade art skills and draw what could only be called a blob with clothes on it. I look through and see what stands out -- symbols, tattoos, anything that symbolizes the character. I then decide what I can and can't do. Some characters are so extremely detailed I can't even begin to fathom how to create some items of clothing. So I try to do the most that I can without cluttering the doll.

So how do you make the doll, once you've got the design down pat? How long do they take?

The whole process of the doll typically takes about 12 to 16 hours of uninterrupted work. So it takes me about three to four days to complete a doll, depending on how complicated it is and if I have to go craft store scouting for items I need for pendants and such.

It's hard to explain the process! I crochet everything unless there is small writing or a design that yarn just wasn't meant to make. For that, I use felt. I may oversimplify this -- the base body is done first using a single crochet stitch. I use the skin tone for most of it, unless a doll has an undershirt or tight pants. I stuff each doll with poly-fill and sometimes with poly-pellets, if I want to add more weight.

After all that, I start creating the clothing. Most of the clothing is done in layers, adding shape by shape until the bigger picture comes together. I always do the hair last. The hair is the hardest part, especially if I have anime hair to style or if I don't have a lot of screenshots. Each strand is attached individually, and it's one of the more time-consuming aspects of creating the doll.

Do you have any plans for other characters that you'd like to tell us about?

I actually just finished a project, a Vivi from Final Fantasy 9. But other than that, I've always wanted to make a Sylvanas, so that may be my next project. I'm always looking for new ideas. One idea suggested to me is to add voice boxes to the dolls so that when you squeeze them, they would say a memorable quote. I think it would be hilarious if one my WoW dolls would start making jokes. Can you imagine Sylvanas saying, "Mirrors can't talk. Luckily for you, they can't laugh, either!"

You'll have to let us know if you pull that off! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Kirei, and good luck on your future projects!

If you'd like to see more of Kirei's work, including dozens of other gaming sackdolls, you can check out her gallery on DeviantArt, or swing by her website, Artistic Gaming.

World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including arts and crafts, fan art, WoW-themed recipes, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself by emailing anne@wowinsider.com with your not-for-profit, WoW-inspired creations.

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