Pimmie Parrots are a recent addition to the Flying Star Toy family. They form part of my Contemporary Folk Art range of toys.
Pimmie Parrots take their inspiration from Mexican Folk Art Owls. A few years ago I stumbled upon a beautiful ceramic owl shaped like an arch and simply painted in a folk art style in the front and on the back an elaborate floral pattern reminiscent of rich textiles. He lives as a hall guardian marking the boundary between the front, public part of the house and the private rooms beyond. At the time I had know idea where my owl was made until I happened on two coincidence: firstly, I was walking to Eckersley's art supply on Edward Street when I saw a hairdressers window filled will owls, among them was huge version of my owl along with a few similar but of a different style, this told me that they must have been made in fairly larger numbers. Not long after I found a rather battered owl at a market, it was of one of the other variety I had seen in the hairdresser's window and on inspecting its base found it to be made in Mexico. Now I knew their origin.
Since then I have occasionally searched for more images of them on eBay and have found a surprising array of them. Below is one of these photos; two white owls in more of an egg like shape with very crude yet delightful painting; most of the Mexican Folk Art owls are much more elaborate and yet have similar beak protrusion and curved lines around the large eyes. You can see this in the Pimmie Parrots too. More images of Mexican Folk Art owls and a Japanese wooden Folk Art owl can be seen in my flikr stream.
Ever since I brought my owl home I have had it in the back of my mind to create a fabric version of some kind. Last month I finally had the space and time to try, but a very interesting thing happened....
My owl became a parrot. When I come to think about it it wasn't at all strange at all. Here in Sandgate Brisbane we are very near large areas of bush land and we share our days with the call of the parrots species of Cockatoo, Galah, and Rainbow Lorikete. They sport around the house feeding on the flower nectar or roam the sky in big white flocks that scream and spit out seed husks and drop flowers in their rampage, or snuggle with their life-partner in the late afternoon. As Folk Art reflects the place in which it is born, it was with a natural and yet unseen hand that their final form was guided from owl to parrot.
But there is also a more personal side to this story. I have dedicated these toys to my grandfather, Archibald Walmsley. When my sister and I were younger we spent all of our holidays with my mother's parents. Poppy had a special friend, his dark blue budgerigar whom he called Pimmie. I remember his care and thoughtfulness for Pimmie; how he would take us into the garden and show us the thistle leaves to pick and just how to wedge then into the cage so Pimmie could eat them without them falling out of the cage. Later I had my own blue budgerigar call Bluey and that tender care was passed on to me. When considering the name for these toys I remembered dear Pimmie; and so Pimmie Parrots were born.
Pimmie Parrots are cloth art toys. Handmade and hand painted using artist quality pigment ink, each one unique and orginal. Backed with two varieties of designer fabrics, they range in size from 30cm to 5cm and are weighted to stand upright without support.