Friday, 2 March 2012

9/10th perspiration, 1/10 application!

There's a reason why athletes train for years, months, days ahead of the Olympics. It's the preparation that they need in order to produce a winning result.

The same applies to handmade gifts, there is preparation and years of training prior to actually starting the tasks that actually produce the object of your desire. The process and rituals that are then followed through to make the actual end product? Well it's more like a Decathlon than a 100m sprint!

A not quite finished rabbit
Take our lovely bobbing rabbits made by Markus in his converted horse stable. (A cute video of one hopping about my kitchen can be seen on our facebook page

First he has to go out and find the wood to carve. Markus passionately believes in wood and chooses to use wood that either he has sourced himself or that come from a source he trusts. All his wood comes from sustainable sources.

Wood needs to be prepared before it can be carved. You can't just start whittling away at wood that is sappy, or old and gnarled. So his wood sits for just the right about of time.

Markus will then study the wood for some time, he lets the wood speak to him like marble speaks to a sculptor. Where possible he'll follow the natural lines of the wood, keeping it's natural warmth and beauty in the carving.

So it is only after all this time that he knows what the wood will become. He works slowly and methodically  using his hands, knowledge and skill to create a wonderful little rabbit.

He will then let this rabbit sit for awhile, as he has to make the rabbit wheels for it to 'bob along' on. One wheel has to be slightly larger and elliptical than the other to produce the characteristic 'bob' of a rabbit hop. Of course Markus knows this because he has spent years watching rabbits and making these wheels to try and capture this movement perfectly.

When the wheels are finally added to the rabbit, it must once again sit for a while to let all the parts settle. This is when he will finally look at his lovely creation and critique it as only the maker can. There is no one more harsh than a creator on their creation.

If he's happy then he'll add the shoe string pull that children pull to make the bunny hop hop.

The rabbit will then be tested to ensure that it meets CE standards before being put in a box and sent to us here at u-ni-k.

Here he is on my kitchen floor

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