3 OF A KIND Meet the mak­ers of these cute tim­ber toys

Give lit­tle ones lo­cally crafted pieces to cher­ish this Christmas

Inside Out (Australia) - - Editor’s Letter - EDITED BY LOUISA BATHGATE

Noc Noc or­ganic wooden ring stacker

DE­SIGNER: Heather Nor­ris Af­ter she and her fam­ily moved from bustling Syd­ney to pic­turesque Len­nox Heads on the NSW north coast, de­signer Heather was less than in­spired while Christmas shop­ping for her niece, which led her to ask: “Where can I find high­qual­ity, nat­u­ral and non-toxic toys on­line that are beau­ti­ful and sus­tain­able?” Noc Noc was born in Jan­uary 2015, start­ing with im­ported hand­made prod­ucts, but soon mak­ing its own toys with the idea of craft­ing fu­ture heir­looms as the key cre­ative driver. Heather’s part­ner Si­mon has even taken on the role of Head Toy Maker af­ter fin­ish­ing up a full-time role. “We now have a suc­cess­ful small busi­ness that sur­prises us daily,” says Heather. The stacker, and in­deed all of the toys, are hand­crafted in their Len­nox Heads stu­dio from beech, acer and ash tim­ber, with the smooth fin­ish of the hard­woods per­fect for ba­bies’ gums dur­ing teething months. “Our ul­ti­mate in­spi­ra­tion is na­ture it­self,” says Heather. “Nat­u­ral tim­ber is so beau­ti­ful and tells such a unique story – no two pieces will ever be the same, which adds to their per­son­alised, keep­sake sta­tus.” $45, noc­noc.com.au.

Mil­ton Ashby he­li­copter

DE­SIGNER: Shan­non Ley With a back­ground in au­to­mo­tive en­gi­neer­ing, it’s no sur­prise that Shan­non chose to de­sign a se­lec­tion of planes, cars and he­li­copters in his tim­ber toy range, which also fea­tures pen­guins, koalas and fish. “Af­ter try­ing to buy gifts for friends’ kids on a few oc­ca­sions, I was sur­prised to find that no-one was mak­ing pieces that were beau­ti­ful, stylish and a lit­tle bit spe­cial,” he says. “So I de­cided to make them my­self!” In­spired by Scan­di­na­vian min­i­mal­ism, his de­signs aim to find the essence of the real-life item. “I love that we’ve man­aged to cap­ture the look of a real he­li­copter while main­tain­ing that beau­ti­ful, min­i­mal form,” says Shan­non. Each toy is hand­made in a Mel­bourne work­shop. “Our toys start as planks of wood and are cut, drilled and sanded, then oiled or painted with non-toxic paints or var­nishes,” he says. “They’re then per­son­alised with the child’s name and birth­date, if de­sired, and as­sem­bled.” The fi­nal flour­ish is com­plete when the toy ar­rives in a chic metal con­tainer, which is as stylish as the toys them­selves. $55, mil­tonashby.com.au.

One Two Tree ‘Lit­tle Aussie Trea­sures’ toy set

DE­SIGNER: Lucy McNa­mara Syd­ney-based de­signer Lucy and her part­ner were on the hunt for the per­fect Christmas tree back in 2011 when they de­cided in­stead to make their own sculp­tural eco-friendly tim­ber tree, which led to the cre­ation of One Two Tree. “To­day, our be­spoke prod­ucts are made from pre­mium-grade Aus­tralian hoop pine ply­wood, grown sus­tain­ably in man­aged plan­ta­tions in Queens­land,” says Lucy of the ex­ten­sive range, which in­cludes toys, mes­sage boards, shelves and art prints. “When it came to the Lit­tle Trea­sures set, I wanted to cre­ate some play­ful characters that paid homage to our Aus­tralian roots, while high­light­ing our iconic na­tive fauna,” says Lucy. “Each lit­tle an­i­mal is CNC-routed by our two ded­i­cated crafts­men, en­sur­ing smooth lines and pre­cise cuts, then care­fully hand-painted and fin­ished.” Her favourite part of the cre­ative process is the joy that comes from playing with the pieces. “They in­stantly make me smile when I see them,” says Lucy. “They are a tan­gi­ble, play­ful prod­uct – per­fect for lit­tle fin­gers to hold and in­ter­act with.” $89/as­sorted set of 5, onet­wotree.com.au.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.