October 18, 2007

Some Day My Sweet Hardwood Prince Will Come From Petaluma


Ashley is a Reggio Emilia atelierista by day, and a felt artist by night. She also has a blog with no links. Obviously, she lives in San Francisco.

When she was in Petaluma, peddling her wares, she happened to snap the photo [severely cropped above] at Maude, a rather awesome-looking children's store at 133 Kentucky St. The full name of the store is Maude Rare Finds For Children. As befits a precious and rare children's store in Petaluma, they appear to have no web presence whatsoever. the absolute slightest of web presences possible. [They are nicely represented on flickr, however.]

I will be calling Maude at a suitable hour to find out where that incredible hardwood castle block set with the natural, lead-free dyes came from. Also the natural grain reindeer.

update: The figures and the castle both are by Ostheimer, described, accurately enough, by The Wooden Wagon as "quite simply, the finest wooden figures available, much imitated but never equaled." [no kidding on the "much imitated" part, wow.] The fine folks at Maude also said they are virtually indestructible, and they just get better with age.

In the mean time, at least one of you should throw the kid in the bike trailer and start pedalling up there to buy it.

This is the most relentlessly 2007-ish post I've ever written.

ashley rose helvey [via stork bites man]
Maude Rare Finds For Children basic info [maudeonline.com]


Quite Hour Toys

[aha, a German company named Holzkram made the knight and princess, but the castle looks different. great find, tho, thanks. -ed.]

Perhaps the reindeer is from Holtziger?

[holztiger, holzkram, lotta holzes around here all of a sudden. -ed.]

I liked that knight better before I knew he was $41.

[it feels cheaper if you pay in dubloons. -ed.]

Before breeding my wife and I lived in Petaluma. We made a foray into the store once and were charmed with its selection. Since moving we had completely forgotten about it. Thanks for reminding us. The trip back to see friends for the holidays has just gotten more interesting.

Of all the German wooden figures, I like Ostheimer best. (There's a nice castle too.) The Wooden Wagon has em.

aw, c'mon, greg, you can get WAY more 2007 than this. you didn't use the word "vaccine," "park slope parents," "spike jonze" or "artisanal."

Ostheimer and Holtztiger wood figurines are indeed indestructible (well, we do have a knight that lost one of his articulated arms). Some of them are a little odd in that they are flat and really only look right from the side, but others are slightly more rounded and three-dimensional. Too bad they're all really expensive...check out this nativity set!

The castle AND figures are Ostheimer. If I may explain-I have been comparing these with great interest and chosen Ostheimer as my favorite. Holztiger also makes similar animals, but their people are the ones that are flat, and they use a clear coat over their usually more vibrant colors. Ostheimer figures are usually more lightly colored and natural looking. Holzkram is another I've recently learned of, and they make darling buildings that are sized for the Ostheimer figures that they sell too, which may be why someone thought those figures were Holzkram. www.holzkram.com

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