Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Pink Flamingos

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.]



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