Don Featherstone, the designer of the original pink flamingo plastic lawn ornament, was born on this day in 1936. He came to Union Products in Leominster, Massachusetts in 1957 as a lowly grad of the Worcester Art Museum School and was asked to design a plastic lawn duck. The flamingo, which he fashioned out of clay, was his second design for Union Products, and it became a classic of suburban kitsch/Americana.
In 1996, Featherstone bought Union Products from his lifelong employers. The company has a catalog of 600-800 plastic products for the home garden, many of which were originally sculpted by Featherstone.
"[C]onverting a sculpture to plastic forces you to be an engineer to some extent, to come to grips with the strengths and limitations of plastic. My pink flamingo would look a lot different if I'd made it out of bronze." -- Don Featherstone
[Read more about Don Featherstone's creation in The Original Pink Flamingos: Splendor on the Grass by Featherstone and Tom Herzing.]