Ostheimer are today unique in the way that they make their beautiful wooden figures. The vast majority of wooden toys are sawn out using a computerised process. Not at Ostheimer! Each template is transferred to the wood and sawn out by hand. Each figures is then given its characteristic Ostheimer carving, then sanded, hand painted and finally dipped in walnut oil. At each stage of the process the human hand is present and in control.
Ostheimer figures are enjoyed by children of all ages and are a particular favourite with our own family and all at Myriad. Their quality and aesthetic appeal is unsurpassed!
The figures are made from native hardwoods maple and ash. Maple is smooth and hard, pale in colour, with little visible grain. The majority of Ostheimer figures are made from maple wood. Ash wood has a rougher feel and pronounced grain and is used to enhance figures such as the Wild Boar, Ostrich and Rhinoceros. The ark and castle uses alder wood. All wood used at Ostheimer is sourced from sustainably managed forests.
We offer here a large selection of the Ostheimer collection. We stock over 400 different figures, buildings, trees and bridges!
Ostheimer wooden toys are designed specifically to stimulate the child’s imagination, rather than presenting them with a fixed concept. It is the fantasy of the child that breathes life into these seemingly stiff wooden figures, whose form and colour has been purposely reduced to an essential minimum. Ostheimer takes great care in shaping and crafting each individual figure so as to preserve this fantasy world and thereby give children the ability to draw on their creativity during play.
Ostheimer have been hand crafting fine wooden toys for more than 60 years. They have a very high reputation for traditional wooden toys of the highest quality. Ostheimer toys are appreciated around the world.
play-space for childhood dreams the ostheimer philosophy
It is the fantasy of our children alone that breathes life into the seemingly stiff wooden figures, the form and colour of which purposely have been reduced to an essential minimum. It is apparent how little coaching our children need to dive into their worlds. We go to great lengths in shaping and crafting each individual figures so as to preserve this fantasy world and thereby to give children the ability to draw on their creativity during play.Margareta Ostheimer
how ostheimer figures are made
Ostheimer figures are produced exclusively from high quality native hardwood, maple and elm. Slight differences in colour and slight deviations in the structure of the grain are not defects, but instead contribute to the special charm and uniqueness of Ostheimer figures.
The figures are hand traced onto planed wood using templates. They are then sawn out and carefully sanded to achieve the typically soft edged form of Ostheimer figures. Colour is applied by hand with up to six consecutive coats. The transparent colours non-toxic, water-soluble stains which do not hide the natural surface of the wood. In this way, Ostheimer figures maintain the relationship with the world.
Ostheimer figures are finally treated with either a walnut oil or shellac finish in order to give the colours the greatest possible durability. Each figure then undergoes a final inspection and receives the Ostheimer insignia.
In their interaction with the condensed forms and soft colours 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 [thus] participate in the creation of their own toys. Margareta Ostheimer
In a visionary way, and based on her studies of both Steiner Waldorf pedagogy and anthroposophic ideas, Margarete Ostheimer began a collection of toys which today more than ever is justified and necessary.
The Ostheimer 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.
ostheimer toys – awakening children’s creative forces
An increase in loneliness and a lack of social mores already bear witness to the consequences of one-sided intellectual upbringing. It is now generally accepted that, well into one’s career and indeed into the highest echelons management, it is not just specialised knowledge, but also flexibility and creativity that are sorely needed. The days in which a good final grade was more important then a wealth of ideas have long since past.
Ostheimer toys are designed to awaken and encourage the creative forces in children. For whatever fails to take root in childhood, remains barren for an entire life.
Myriad Natural Toys & Crafts
We stock a very wide range of Ostheimer figures and sets. Click here to look at out Ostheimer section or, for a free catalogue of our complete range of natural toys, natural art & craft materials and pentatonic musical instruments click here.