Thursday, October 22, 2009
I woke up this morning thinking about holiday gifts. Before anyone woke up, I tiptoed downstairs and made a list for my family and friends... and a new one: for my shop. I'm working on some patterns that I think you'll enjoy for your own gift making. More details soon. In the meantime, my favorite toymaker came to mind. I did a post about him in the very early days of my blog, so I thought I'd bring it back for you to enjoy today. He's truly amazing. May I present you with...
I recently discovered a modern day Geppetto living down the road. Geppetto was the famous toymaker who brought Pinocchio to life. Gunther Keil, of Wild Apples, has been making beautiful crafted natural toys from wood for over thirty years. When I first visited his toyshop/studio, I felt like I was stepping into a page from a storybook. The walls were neatly lined with all his whimsical creations and there sat Gunther at his workbench, looking every bit the magical elf you'd expect to create such beautiful toys.
In this day and age of plastic and disposable, where most items available to our children are mass produced, how wonderful to find lovingly handcrafted toys using non-toxic finishes, local woods, and green energy. Back to the present. I now consider Gunther one of my friends, not just someone I admire and I can tell you this: he's the real thing. True to himself and heartfelt in all that he makes. Here's a little bit more of his story, I'm sure you'll see his spirit shining through!
My long standing favorites are these gorgeous banks.
I'm sure my daughter would go crazy over this Kitten Caboodle.
Just so you know, this post is unsolicited... as much as I enjoy promoting someone wonderful just for the sheer pleasure of it... I'm also thinking of all of you. Wild Apples toys has something in every price range (seriously reasonable for handmade wooden toys!) and ship all over the world. Plus, I have a suspicion that many of you love natural toys for gift giving, too. Mama Goose carries Wild Apple toys if you're local. If not, you can go directly to their website: