This month’s guest is local lady Joanne Farmer, who has a keen interest in mermaids and an impressive collection of items inspired by these mystic creatures. Joanne gives us a sneak peek at her collection …
What do you collect?
I like to collect mermaids of all kinds, shapes and sizes. Since I was a young girl, I have always fantasized about being a mermaid in a cave with lots of beautiful treasures about me, swimming in the beautiful blue ocean with all its creatures and meeting lots of other marine going characters. The only catch is that the water must be warm!
How long have you been collecting mermaids?
I started collecting mermaids when I was about 18 years old. I still have that first one which my husband bought for me, because he thought it looked like me!
So is this what prompted you to start your collection?
I suppose it was, yes. As I said, I’ve always liked mermaids, but the gift from my husband was really what started me collecting them.
Tell us about the variety of objects in your collection.
One of my favourites is a beautiful mermaid clock … it is definitely one of the highlights of my collection. I also have a beautiful frame that I bought from ‘The Patter of Rain’ when it was in Park Beach Plaza – I loved that shop! I framed a gift card of a mermaid inside this particular frame.
I have a full-size mermaid in my lounge room, and she holds a shell which houses a pearl-like light.
There is also a soft mermaid doll in my collection, which looks more like me today than the little porcelain one my husband bought me all those years ago! She is the one that I am holding in the photos, and she has also won first prize in a doll contest before!
I also have some beautiful plates with paintings of mermaids. My collection also includes many different types of figurines; some have that old world look and feel to them (which I love) and then there’s the funky art pieces that I’ve gathered over the years as well.
I even bought my grandson a merbear when he was born, from The Patter of Rain; it’s very well loved!
Honestly though, if I could I would have so much more in my collection, including shells. Let’s just say that it’s a good thing that I don’t have an eBay account!
Where do you find all your mermaids, and are they hard to source?
Most of the pieces in my collection I have just spotted in the shops. If I find something that I really love, I will lay-by or ask one of the family to get it for me. There is so much on eBay that I could collect, but as I said, I don’t have an account at present – but that could always change.
It’s nice just keeping an eye out; I always look for something special in antique shops and at markets as well.
Is your collection still growing?
Oh yes, it definitely is still growing! It’s a strong interest of mine, and I think that I will always do it.
I have told my twin grand-daughters they will inherit it when Nanny goes to heaven to be a mermaid!
Do you have one favourite piece in your collection?
Yes, the one my husband bought me when I was 18 is still a favourite. Another of my favourites is a small porcelain one that he also bought me about 20 years ago in Coffs Harbour. And, of course, I really love my life-size figurine/lamp and my clock.