Slow → articles tagged with toys

Kokeshi dolls

We've slowly been collecting Kokeshi dolls for some years now. From the moment we found the first doll at Tortoise General Store we have been fascinated and impressed by the craft that goes into the production of the dolls, which clearly shows. In this video the modern production process of the Kokeshi has beautifully been caught on camera by Sàneyuki Owada of Japanstore. However, the origin of the beautiful Kokeshi dolls lays in North-East Japan, where it was first produced as wooden toy for children during the closing chapter of the Edo period, which ended in 1868. These first dolls were produced by woodwork artisans, called Kiji-shi, who normally made bowls, trays and other tableware by using a lathe. They began to make small dolls in the winter to sell to visitors who came to bathe in the many hot springs near their villages, which was believed to be a cure for the demands of a strenuous agricultural lifestyle. [ Continue reading ]

Curated Nº 6 — Cubebot

New York-based designer David Weeks has proven, for many years now, to be a highly creative spirit. The designer has a very high level of production, from beautiful minimalist sofas and chairs to a nicely balanced mobile lamp. But our favorite of all his work are the wooden animals and robots that he makes in collaboration with Areaware. The first animal he ever produced was a bear of almost 35 inches high, made of 17 pieces of beech wood, put together by elastic. A beautiful and clever creature, who was able to stand in all kinds of positions.  Afther the bear came a gorilla, an elephant, a rhinoceros, a crocodile, a pig, and eventually, as it is bound to happen everywhere at one point, the robot entered the scene. [ Continue reading ]

People Blocks

We love the collaboration between Case Studyo and graphic artist Andy Rementer called People Blocks. It consists of four unique wooden characters entirely made and painted by hand. The individual pieces are interchangeable, allowing them to be re-assembled and stacked to create custom characters or abstract sculptures. The series captures the spirit of Rementer’s work, high key color, bold decorative pattern and oddly pensive characters which interact in unexpected and often humorous ways with the surroundings in which they are arranged. The characters: Antoine, Fabienne, Jean and François are sold individually and packaged in a screen printed wooden box. Each sculpture comes with a certificate of authenticity signed and numbered by the artist. [ Continue reading ]

Maykel Roovers’ Critical Blocks

The interesting work of young designer Maykel Roovers is primarily based on what is happening in society and everything that can be found in it. The designer is mainly attracted to news with an edge: "I always try to approach it lightly so to be not pedantic. Searching for contrasts, playing with contradictions, I try to create marvel and to elicit a smile." Roovers, deservingly so, was granted a lot of media attention with his 2012 ArtEZ Institute of the Arts Arnhem graduation project called Critical Blocks. [ Continue reading ]

Balancing Blocks

I saw them before and bought my pack back in Toronto when I visited Holt Renfrew’s 175th birthday, and I’m happy to see Areaware is now giving it a bigger audience. I’m talking about the balancing blocks by Gregory Buntain and Ian Collings’ Fort Standard. ‘Their… [ Continue reading ]


Papafoxtrot, known for their amazing wooden supertankers, launched a new line of wonderful wooden satellites that bring out our inner child, but at the same time awe us with their beautiful design. The Papafoxtrot company was founded in 2011 as a collaboration between product designers Martin Postler and Ian Ferguson of Postlerferguson and Herman Cheung from manufacturing consultants Adda Products after years of working together on client projects. Handcrafted wood and a colourful, minimal aesthetic are the essence of Papafoxtrot products with an engaging tactility and playful optimism. [ Continue reading ]


Norwegian designer Lars Beller Fjetland just shared this lovely project with us. ‘Re-turned’ is a family of birds made out of old furniture. Perhaps they were once the part of a loving household as a supportive table-leg or an armrest, now they’ve come back to life as a… [ Continue reading ]

White Blocks

I think we wrote about it before, but couldn’t find it, and I guess it’s worth writing about it more than once! White Blocks is a set of stone-sized balancing blocks to build structures focusing on height, speed or style. The ten salvaged hardwood game pieces finished in… [ Continue reading ]


We saw similar building blocks before, but still love it! This set of 10 blocks is a complete sculptural tool kit made from timber reclaimed in Victoria Australia by TreeHorn Design. It’s a small timber workshop making really nice things such as wooden jewelry, fruit bowls… [ Continue reading ]

The Arctic Princess

We wrote about them before, and now they are finally for sale. The fantastic giant wooden boats by Papa Foxtrot. This is our favorite: The Arctic Princess. With nearly 150,000 cubic meters of liquified natural gas, the Princess carries enough energy to power 45,000 homes for… [ Continue reading ]

Rhino by Karl Zahn

We simply love these animal boxes by Karl Zahn. This Rhino, made with sustainably harvested new growth beech wood, is one of our favorite. On the shelf, it is sculpture. On the side table, it’s a totem. On the counter, it offers a hiding spot. They are all… [ Continue reading ]

Lucy the Crocodile

Big fans as we are of the work of David Weeks Studio for Areaware we are happy to see there’s a new member added to the family. Meet Lucy the Crocodile. A beautiful 20″ long wooden crocodile with moveable limbs and a jaw that opens and closes, made… [ Continue reading ]

Geo Blocks

Love these wooden blocks, initially designed for drawing exercises, but just as useful as paperweights or eye candy upon your desk. The blocks, made in Russia, are really nicely packed and sold online at Present and Correct. [ Continue reading ]

A Boat

We always love the work of the Swiss design company Big-Game. For the Milan Furniture Fair they released a few new projects including these nice and simple  floating boats in cork and plastic. Made for Portugese company Materia they will be launched in Milan next week at the… [ Continue reading ]

The Nano Hummingbird

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I remember the first time seeing a hummingbird, impressed by the beauty and perfection of this little creature. AeroVironment developed this Nano Hummingbird (The Nano Air Vehicle -NAV-, a new class of air vehicle systems capable of indoor and outdoor operation). With a total of 18… [ Continue reading ]

Kristian Vedel’s Birds

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Nº 37. Smoked, hand-turned oak birds by Kristian Vedel at Moss I & II >… [ Continue reading ]

The Heart and the Bottle

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This is probably the best gift for your little love these holidays. A remarkable new interactive picture book for the iPad from Oliver Jeffers. The Heart and the Bottle, about a girl who loses her curiosity for the world when she finds her fathers… [ Continue reading ]

Animal Boxes

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Nº 04. The Whale and Lhama Animal Boxes, designed by Karl Zahn. Available at Areaware. [ Continue reading ]

Hugo the Wild Boar

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Ursa the Bear was sold out completely at Another Shop, and I was planning to get some new stock when this came by. A collaboration between two of my favorite brands, Areaware and Monocle, designed by David Weeks Studio (the designer of Ursa… [ Continue reading ]


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I love Areaware, the well curated shop full of beautiful treasures. They just added this nice ‘toy’ by New York based designer Harry Allen. ‘The beauty of any pickup truck is its utilitarian aesthetic – four strong wheels and the capacity to haul cargo. Cast… [ Continue reading ]


Last week Areaware, the New York manufacturer of Ursa the Bear (a.o.), released their new catalog. They invited me to write a little piece for their Object Stories – ‘about the ways we become attached to the things we live with, how we develop emotional connection… [ Continue reading ]


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Bird, designed by Kristian Vedel in 1959, is making its comeback. The three birds, the child, the parents and the grandparents, are now available again via ArchitectMade. They are still hand made, in a traditional woodturner workshop in Denmark, piece by piece, in three… [ Continue reading ]