About Jess McCaughey


I have been handcrafting animals with a traditional and nostalgic bent for over 18 years.  I take inspiration from the early steiff toys and is drawn to and inspired by toys that show signs of life, love and wear … those that are less than perfect.  I believe deeply in the wonk, and how often the wonky bits of old toys – and us – make for beauty and imperfect perfection.

I invest in every aspect of my creations – from hand dying to hand sewing and extensive aging – with an attention to detail in materials.

Market experience includes three Craft Hatches, Etsy Made Local Market and Finders Keepers. I have exhibited both collaboratively and as a solo artist, with painter Martin Harris at Outre Gallery. Three solo exhibitions “Quite Bear” 2014 and “Getting There” twice in 2017 (Melbourne) and 2018 (Hobart) . In 2018 I curated my first group exhibition “Ode to a Suburban” songbird involving 12 artists and makers in a wide range of mediums. It was also part of Craft Cubed.

I was the Designer of the Month at WAG in March 2018( Wangarartta Art Gallery), has also been featured in the Age in 2010 and 2011 respectively and contributed to the “Meet Me at Mikes.” Book.