Pony – a traditional folk toy made by folk artist coming from a place famous for wooden toys manufacturing. This pony can play the role of a toy or a decoration, it can also pose a collector’s item. Pony is one of the most difficult to manufacture toys – its manufacturing is labour-intensive most of all. Pony’s silhouette is carved precisely and therefore pony’s figurine is three-dimensional. The product is not painted – you can paint it yourself or leave its natural colour.
Looking at present toys, one can often conclude that many of them take away children to another world – a fantasy land that is far from reality. A folk doll played a completely different role. It drew its inspiration from the surrounding world and helped a child get to know, adapt to, and discover the laws that it was governed by. Folk toys were most often made from wood or clay – broadly accessible materials. They were produced in the country. It was men’s task to form them. Women occupied themselves with decorating toys. Parents or grandparents very often made toys for children. Some toys have been popular for centuries and widespread in different cultural circles. Children all over the world, in different historical periods, used to play with ponies, dolls and spinning tops. These toys were subject to solely insignificant modifications relating to the change in living conditions and technological progress. One of the most well-known toy-making centres in Poland is a village of Brz
Mr Jan who comes from Brzóza Stadnicka – a village well-known from toy handicraft – used to occupy himself with carpentry. He discovered his passion for toy-making with time. He equipped his toy-making workshop with new tools. Some of them were bought and some were made by him with the use of his own idea. Although he was not taught that trade by anybody, Mr Jan was able to learn how to make each toy thanks to reach toy-making traditions of his village. Mr Jan is able to make every toy. He specializes in wooden horses. He paints them not only white, according to the local tradition, but he also uses various methods. Wheel-barrows, dancing couples, rocking horses and cradles can also be found in his workshop . Models of these toys have been known in that area for years. Mr Jan usually carves in aspen wood. His toys are renowned for their beautiful colours and reach, as well as fanciful ornamentation. He is most satisfied when he sees children enjoying his wooden toys that he has made. Mr Jan is a member of Folk Artists Association in Lublin.
Each wooden toy was made differently. It all starts with cutting out elements or a basic toy shape from formerly cut boards. More simple toys – such as a cradle or a wheel-barrow can just be glued together from cut-out parts and painted. Wheels can also be added. Wooden ponies are far more laborious. Cutting a shape out of a board seems to be the begging of work. Ponies are three-dimensional. A three-dimensional silhouette of a horse is carved out with a use of different tools. Finally, the toy needs polishing up and painting.
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