Muncher the BT ArtBox monster has been on the streets of London for four days now. The longest one of my large projects has braved the outdoors. Ulp!
He’s been rained on a fair few times, but Muncher and I aren’t afraid of a bit of water. He’s made from nearly 100 balls of acrylic yarn and they’ve been fireproofed and waterproofed. Under his skin there is over 50 metres of Velcro and the gunk of dozens of glue sticks to hold him together so he’s been anti-sagged too. And he’s been hand sewn together ever so carefully by little old me for hours and hours and hours.
I spent two solid weeks with a darning needle either in my hand or sticking out of my mouth.
But what Muncher and I really worry about is that folks won’t feel the woolly love. Or that they’ll feel it a bit too much and end up mauling a monster. Oh dear.
Well, a life lived in fear is a life half lived. So after screwing up our crafty courage Muncher and I left the security of the ArtBox launch event in Trafalgar Square to find his 40-day place not far away on the Trafalgar Square Roundabout. He travelled in style. By forklift truck no less.
And so I left him to it. Safely bolted in with my name on him in case someone wondered.
Well, I almost left him to it. London has spy pigeons everywhere. But there’s only so long you can stay awake to watch the BBC’s traffic cam. (You can watch Muncher on the traffic cam too when it’s zoomed out if you’re up for some ‘heart in your mouth’ TV or see him on occasionally on this Trafalgar Square live stream)
I’m sad to report that one London lurker couldn’t be trusted. I guess the monster love overwhelmed them. On Saturday night, two days after Muncher’s release into the wild, I was called to bring him crafty first aid. This is what I saw when I arrived on Sunday morning. Sigh.
But the great thing about Muncher is that he’s fluffy, feisty and easy to fix. London looked on as my monster got some much needed first aid. Passers by were very curious and also very cross at Muncher’s arm puller. They watched concerned as I sewed his appendage back together.
After a bit of a chat, Muncher and I decided that perhaps people aren’t sure why on earth a giant woolly yellow monster has descended on the Square. So Muncher asked that I conjure up a sign in the style of Paddington Bear. Some sewing and sewing and sewing and several Marmite sandwiches later (we’re not fans of marmalade) and it was done.
And here is what we said to London:
Please look after this monster. He is here to celebrate 25 years of the NSPCC’s Childline Charity.
Deadly Knitshade xx”
And so Muncher prepares to party on the roundabout with random people for the another 37 days. He await London hugs, strokings, smiles, camera snaps, and any amusing tales you have to tell him. He has four secret friends about his person so he’s not going to be lonely (I’ll leave it up to you to find all four for now).
Will London love a woolly monster in the wild? Will Muncher live to strut his stitched stuff at the Childline auction next month? Only time will tell.
Please look after this monster, London. After al he’s the only giant handmade telephone box monster you have.