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  • Writer's pictureOCHO


By Paul Brand (member of the home team supporting Anna Maria Wims Floet and Bo Brand).

Anna Maria and I were discussing possible assignments for this member of the “home team”. Out came the idea to “manufacture” a toy that Anna Maria had found to be extremely popular with the First Day (Sunday) School kids at the Stony Run Friends Meeting House that she takes under her wing from time to time. It is a super simple Chinese Puzzle, that when assembled makes a little house: four walls, a roof and a floor. We copied one instance of the toy that was in the possession of the Meeting House. This was an original that was hand made in Sri Lanka (and probably exported here and sold through one of the Big-Box stores, such as Wal-Mart).

It was copied using more or less accurate ruler measurements. This took out some of the playfulness of the form of the original. I felt that was needed though, because I was was afraid that “playfulness in form” would make it so that not all the parts would be interchangeable across the intended production run of 10 “identical” toys.

The production was straightforward. The initial copied prototype was traced on enough virgin plywood of the right quality (white birch) and between a band saw, a router and a scroll saw the project materialized.

The houses are sanded, but not painted (unlike the original from Sri Lanka). My idea would be that OCHO ship a little bit of paint with the houses (simple colors: red, yellow, blue, and green) and let the kids in Atima determine how they want their toy houses painted (and then go ahead and paint them).

I hope they will have as much fun with them as I had.



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