I love making toys. I like taking wood that looks nothing at all like what the finished product will be, and cutting and shaping it into something that started as a few sparks in my head. The sounds of the tools are soothing, and scent of sawdust is pleasing. Except for Zebrawood, which I hear smells like wet dog when it’s cut. Yuck.
But just as much as I like to actually make the toys, I also like to brainstorm. I have a few toy designs in my sketch pad waiting to be made. Now you have to understand something- I cannot sketch to save my life. Back in High School art class we had to make an 8 page sketch pad of different everyday items. Mine were all squares and rectangles. Television, clock radio, microwave…you get the idea.
So my sketches for my toys aren’t typical- I need them to be functional, as in, I can make out what it was I was trying to draw. What I do after I come up with something in my head is start to do a rough sketch, then draw it by “view”. Front view, top view, side view. A few years of mechanical drawing classes with a class in engineering drawing thrown in let’s this process be a lot easier than relying on my less than stellar drawing skills.
Despite my poor sketches, I really enjoy the brainstorming just as much as actually making the toys. For me, it’s not just about the ‘manufacturing’ end, but the entire artistic process as a whole.