Lucy Sparrow

The queen of making realisitc felt artwork, Lucy’s created several shops (one of them being a sex shop in Soho) where the entire stock has been hand made by here with just needle, thread and felt. It’s really quite extraordinary.

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How many sewing machines have you gone through?
Three in the last two years – Sheila, Jerome Flynn (he was a Singer) and Mr Pink.

How much of the work do you have to do by hand when you make an entire shop?
Oh thousands and thousands of hours of work by hand! Most of the work is hand stitched and all of the painting and finishing is done by hand.

So why did you decide to sew an entire sex shop?
This was actually the show I wanted to do right from the start.  I worked as a lap dancer for five years after college and used that money to fund Cornershop. I was intrigued by the whole industry and the fact that sex looms so large in the underbelly of any modern city.

Was there any time during the creation of it where you were like, “for real? There’s a magazine for that..?”
Totally. The research for Madame Roxy’s has been quite an education! I’ve visited so many sex shops in both the UK and Europe looking at products. I’ve been to trade shows and researched online to find out some of the more bizarre and obscure sex accessories and implements. There literally is something for everyone out there.  I’ve represented most of what I found in the shop – people come in and ask ‘Really?’ and I always answer ‘It’s a thing!”

What was the weirdest thing you had to research how to make? 
I think some of the items in the medical section. Speculums, penis enlargers and particularly the urethra stretchers…. like I said ‘It’s a thing!” Some of the felt subjects are pretty out there, at least in terms of the current legislation. Subjects like face-sitting, female ejaculation, spanking and caning have all been quietly censored since the changes in the law last October and I really wanted to shed some light on that.

Have you created a new fetish where people get off on looking at ‘felt porn’?
Oh I hope so. Someone who came in and bought something from the show last week tweeted that he was now a ‘feltishist’. So I think my work here is done!

Portrait: Tom Medwell

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