Local designer Penelope Gale has launched a range of educational products for children, featuring her hand drawn depictions of native Australian animals.
A while back, Penelope Gale, textile designer, asked herself the question: “If our children don’t know these animals exist, why will they want to save them?”
She was referring of course to the number of endangered native Australian critters that desperately need our help and involvement. Penelope decided to take matters into her own hands with Fabriculture, a design brand that creates beautiful, entertaining and informative products for children. These artistic products include greeting cards, Australian animal alphabet flashcards and artwork prints. We had the great pleasure of talking with Penelope about this philanthropic project, her process and what she has planned next.
What would you say Fabriculture’s main motive is?
Fabriculture’s aim is to help young people learn about our threatened and unusual native species through play by providing a range of beautifully designed educational products. We believe one of the best ways we can preserve our natural heritage for future generations is to teach our children about it from an early age.
What are some of the endangered native Australian species you hope to bring awareness to?
There are so many!Animals like the Dibbler, Mala, Woylie, Mt Lidgbird Land Snail, the Ungee Gungee I also didn’t want to just stick to the cute and cuddly looking mammals this is why I’ve included insects and reptiles, snails, fish and birds as well.There are plenty of animals people will recognise, the Echidna and the Platypus – I included these because they are monotremes and unlike any other animals in the world – and Koalas, though celebrated in books are often overlooked in real life, and are now dangerously at risk of extinction.
How do you hope children will respond to these products?
I hope they love them! I hope they love the pictures and the colours, and interacting with them and learning more about each animal, AND their letters at the same time! The more animals I research, the more fascinated I’ve become. I hope some of that rubs off on the children and adults that use the cards.
What is the creative process behind the Fabriculture products, and what steps are taken to make them?
Lots of research! Researching through environmental and conservation websites, drawing from photos, painting, then further more detailed research into the actual species. Quite a few of these animals I’d never heard of – and there is often not a lot of general information about them – but I was fortunate enough to be able to collect data from many of the amazing scientists who research and may have even helped discovered the species.
What ideas or plans-in-the-making do you have in store for Fabriculture?
I’m about to go into production with Milestone cards for new mamas and bubs – and working on some game cards incorporating learning about the animals for older kids. I’m a textile designer and artist by profession, so I have other paper products such as archival prints and cards and I will be branching into home and fashion textiles soon.
I’d also like to do a book including many more animals for older kids and I’ve started work on an A-Z of endangered indigenous flora too – because without habitat our fauna cannot survive – which I hope to bring out by the end of the year.
You can find more info on Fabriculture on their website here.