It started with the word “calliope” – which is a word I like to say. The word itself was screaming for me to make a plush of it. I thought to myself, “What does a calliope even look like?” After some research, my initial idea started bouncing around with terms like organ grinder, street organ, hand organ, callioflute, and hydraulophone.
So I sketched this:
That’s the organ grinder’s monkey hiding inside!
Then I pared it down to a more plush-like design:
And the Hurdy Gurdy Man was born.
For those of you who are not familiar with the organ grinder and his street performing monkey with the little hat, you can read about him here. I always think of Carson Mccullers’ The Member of the Wedding when I think of organ grinders. That is what comes of having been an english major, I suppose. The term
“Hurdy Gurdy Man” is used to describe this kind of street musician, but the hurdy gurdy is actually an instrument that does not resemble the street organ at all – it’s more like a mechanical violin. This plush is particularly special to me because I love this song, by Donovan.
A Cranky Haiku:
My retinue is
Guttersnipes and vagabonds,
Derelicts and you!