Strike a pose

As a child I was fascinated by those wooden models of the human shape used by artists – in seeing one, I could never resist changing the pose. These animal versions, created for children by designer David Weeks, are similar in concept but are much more intriguing.

There are two animals available – a bear and a gorilla. Made of beech wood, the animals’ elastic band ‘muscles’ and durable wooden limbs make for a hardy toy that the designer promises will withstand generations of play.

Although the animal’s features are simple, they are incredibly expressive – Ursa the Bear’s lumbering bulk and Hanno the Gorilla’s powerful shoulders are enhanced by the silky grain of the wood.

I think these wooden animals are one of those rare toys that appeal to any age and the craftsmanship is exquisite – they would be equally at home on the floor in an imaginary forest or on the coffee table, admired by adults.

The animals range in price from US$55 for Hanno Jr (the small gorilla) to  US$125 for Ursa the Bear and are available from Areaware, who ship to Australia.


Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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