Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Carving Animals To Be Played With!

I enjoy making Noah's Arks and the pairs of animals.  The arks that I make are not meant to be "display arks".  They are meant to be played with.  When carved animals are played with, they must be able to withstand being played with.  This means that there are several things to consider. The animals must be designed and carved in such a way as to not have "pieces and parts" that will break off.  You must eliminate some of the detail.  Actually, you can eliminate quite a lot of detail, and children will still know what the animal is.  I do not separate the legs of the animals that I carve for the arks.  Early on I found out that separated legs are the first to get broken off.
I also discovered that scale does not matter.  Oh, I pay a little bit of attention to scale but not a lot.  Elephants are always larger that the other animals, but kids don't care beyond that.  Consider the turtles and frogs in the above photo.  They are just not carved as small as they should be in comparison to the other animals.  Also, check out the swan and the toucan in the next photo.  They are way bigger than they should be when considering scale.  But kids just don't notice.  They're swans and toucans.

This pair of chickens is small.  They are too small for wee little children to play with.  A rule of thumb for these small items that small children play with is that must be larger than the old 35 mm film canisters, to be safe.  Kids tend to put all things into their mouths.

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