Handmade Toy Makers: Willowynn Textile Art

First in a Series about Toy Makers

 Foxes made from an upcycled cotton curtain, photos courtesy of Margeaux Davis

Foxes made from an upcycled cotton curtain, photos courtesy of Margeaux Davis

Bringing Nature into the Playroom

As a toy-maker, I love following the art and career paths of other toy makers. I covet glimpses into their studios and creative process. Each of our journeys is unique, yet we also often share similarities, too. My career background is an unusual mix of years as a graphic designer,  years of environmental protection and doll-making. An unusual mix, I know.

This is why I was especially drawn to Willowynn Textile Arts. Owner Margeaux Davis transforms the beauty of the natural world into cloth toys that are as captivating as the real thing. Her toy collection ranges from the more traditional owls and foxes, to blue and killer whales to species rarely made into toys such as moths, snails and mushrooms. Her depictions of these fauna (and one flora) are sweet but not unrealistically cute. The toys range from soft sculpture for gentle play to bunnies that can withstand the abuse of more intense play. These toys would be perfect for children already interested in wildlife. Or they could be used to spark an interest.

 Custom Killer Whale

Custom Killer Whale

 The Willowynn Label

The Willowynn Label

The Work Environment

Margeaux lives with her family in rural Australia among macadamia nut farms and cow paddocks. Before starting Willowynn Textile Art, she worked as a park ranger and environmental educator. She has always sewn, but through Willowyn she has been able to recreate the creatures that fascinate her. “Owls, snails, moths, foxes, rabbits and whales have such a gentle, serene beauty and I love trying to create that mood or feeling in them.”

Margeaux has been sewing since she was a child, “I have honed my skills through trial, error and persistence. Each design has come about after countless hours spent stitching, unpicking and stitching again.’ When she was a child she made shorts, skirts and drawstring bags for her treasures. Her designs for Willowynn are made out of repurposed materials, linen remnants, second hand fiberfill, cotton napkins, vintage blankets, upholstery remnants,  Margeaux is drawn to reuse for environmental reasons and because she enjoys the story and romance of the repurposed materials.

 Her boys sewing in the studio

Her boys sewing in the studio

Bringing all of her Passions Together

Although Margeaux loved her job as a ranger, she created Willowyn so that she could stay home with her two young sons while working with her favorite things--nature and cloth.

Willowynn Textile Art can be found:

On Margeaux’s Website

Facebook

and in her Etsy Shop.

And this past week at FinderKeepers in Brisbane

 Bunnies for more active playtimes

Bunnies for more active playtimes

snail