Handcarved Wooden Toys
"Play is at the very core of a child's life. It is the way children learn about the environment, the people in their lives, and most of all about themselves. Toys are the tools of creative play and with the right toys, a child can have not only an entertaining, but an enriching experience." - Margarate Ostheimer
Welcome to the enchanting world of Ostheimer
handcrafted toys!. These unique handcrafted creations are fashioned with a sense of wonder and love. They encourage children to play creatively and let their imaginations soar. Each figure is shaped and painted by hand with devotion and care.
Ostheimer wooden figures, with their expressive colors and soft finish, are in harmony with nature in material as well as image. Loved by children and adults alike, they will radiate an atmosphere of peaceful presence through years to come. We hope they will become a graceful addition to your home
Ostheimer toys are designed to awaken and encourage the creative forces in
helping to take root in the child a lifetime of imagination and
buttons to push; no noisy, tinny "moos" or clumsily mechanically
walking animals with the twist of a lever here: Instead, watch a child when
he or she is quietly playing with the figures. See how the cows run across the field... It is the fantasy of our children alone that breathes life into the wooden figures.
Imagination... To have an artistic bent is in every person - our responsibility is to awaken it. Only then can it become a valuable companion throughout our entire lives. Today more than ever these creative forces are necessary to meet the various demands of modern life.
Using your creative imagination means seeing something you don't have directly in front of you or, if it is in front of you adding something to it from within you. Children still have direct access to this creative ability because they have not yet allowed themselves to be constrained by the narrow boundaries of reality. If we give them the space to use their imaginations while still children, then they will be able to deal much more creatively with the reality that surrounds them - more creatively than if from the outset they live in a world of toys that provide them everything in perfect detail.
A fundamental objective of Ostheimer toys is to preserve this space for children's imaginations. In their interaction with the condensed forms and soft colors of the figures, children learn to enliven them with their own imaginative abilities and to provide them with everything they need for the game in question. Children at play decide whether a horse is a wild stallion galloping across the prairie or an old nag tiredly trotting along the road. Children participate in the creation of their own toys. That is to say, they are allowed to be themselves.
An increase in loneliness and a lack of social mores already bear witness to the consequences of one-sidedly intellectual upbringing. It is now generally accepted that, well into one's career and indeed into the highest echelons of management, it is not just specialized knowledge, but also flexibility and creativity that are sorely needed. The days in which a good final grade was more important than a wealth of ideas have long since past.
In a visionary way and based on her studies of both Waldorf pedagogy and anthroposophic ideas, Margarete Ostheimer began a collection of toys which today more than ever is justified and necessary. The collection was established forty years ago as an alternative to a "plastic world" and is today a necessary counterweight to the "high tech world" of the playroom.
with Care and Devotion
Each Ostheimer woodenfigure is shaped and painted by hand with devotion and care.
After using stencils to trace the figure's outlines onto planed wood, a band saw is used to cut out the individual pieces. At this, as well as at all other stages of production, each figure is subject to quality control.
The typical soft-edged form of Ostheimer toys is achieved by careful handcrafted sanding of each piece. Once the figure has been given its final form, the sanded edges are further refined in careful handwork.
Color is applied to the figures in the production process with up to six consecutive coats. The transparent colors are applied by hand, using non-toxic, water-soluble wood stains which do not hide the natural surface of the wood. In this way, the relationship to the wood is retained.
In the Ostheimer oiling and varnishing workshop the figures are finally treated with walnut oil or shellac in order to give the colors the greatest possible durability. Before the figures are then placed into storage or transfered to the shipping deparment, they are marked with the Ostheimer insignia, and each figure undergoes a final quality inspection.
handcarved badger is a wonderful woodland friend. Handcrafted in Germany. For ages 3 and up.