Miranda the Panda and the Commander Salamander were originally developed as an alternative to stuffed toys sold at zoos, which ironically are made from oil-based resources (synthetic materials) that destroy the habitat of wildlife in which conservation organizations aim to protect.
The Miranda Panda collection is made from organic cotton, filled
with a biodegradable stuffing, and hand-made by ethical tailoring shops that provide training to women of underserved communities in India. The collection was a collaboration between Christine (designer), Dr Kim Terrell (a conservation biologist) and Work + Shelter. We received a small commission from the Smithsonian in 2014.
The designs are inspired by a form of Indian Folk Art practiced by the Gond People who are predominantly from Madhya Pradesh. The art is distinguished by colorful patterns and 'flat' shapes. Being originally made in India, it was natural that Indian influence should be part of the design language.
Below from left to right: Ellie the Indian Elephant, Family shot (Ellie, Miranda and Lionel), and Lionel the Lion.
Today these stuffed toys are part of a range of products that are used as ‘training samples’, for communities who wish to learn and develop ‘making skills’ and create small local business. These partnering communities can use the design and brand of these products for a modest fee, which helps fund our ‘maker-to-maker’ programming.
The 'Spotted Salamander' was specifically commissioned by the Smithsonian for a salamander conservation conference in 2014. The entire collection was originally branded under Beetle & Flor, Christine's ceramic business, where proceeds from her sales supported similar projects
Right: Hang Tags.