Frequently Asked Questions.

Stages of production, quality, etc.:

The surface of toys is not idealy polished. Is it a sign of poor quality?
 We paint our toys only once to make wood naturally exposed. When dried and not covered with thick layer of paint wood breathes and ideally keeps warmth in winter and coolness in summer.

Many toys intended for children are produced uncolored. The natural rough or velvet surface of different sorts of wood, its smooth and sharp edges promote the development of the sense of touch in a child.
Why do some toys are too tight to joint with each other?
 Puzzles are cut of the entire piece of wood with the jigger. When painted pile is raised and it seems all parts of a puzzle to enlarge in volume. While the process of playing the surfaces will smooth over and fit each other soon. Parents can help their kids to assemble and disassemble all parts several times. Making a puzzle requires patience! The use of force cannot help to join the lopsided parts so you should be patient and have sense of touch. Each wooden toy has its character and one should overcome it.
There are mysterious signs on some parts of the toys. What does it mean?
 In our workshop we use simple electric tools and all the toys are hand-made. Instead of a portable jig saw we use an electric jigger. A thin saw-blade moves up and down quickly and the operator directs a piece of wood in such a way that a blade follows the layout line. As a result all parts are not ideally equal and in order to fit each other tightly in a puzzle we need to mark the groups of parts that were made of one piece of wood with special signs that you can see on the back. Otherwise it will be impossible to assemble the puzzles.
What kind of wood do you use for your toys?
  Our toys are made of birch which is of light color and suits for painting best of all. The construction sets are made of lime tree which is warm and velvet or strong-smelling pine. Birch and pine forests grow in Yaroslavl region, near the river Volga, far away from industrial plants. Lime trees are delivered to us from the village of Lipitzi.
What paints do you use?
 We use acrylic paint “Nevskaya Palitra”.It is ecofriendly and does not contain any heavy metals and is safe for kids. Our quality certificate confirms this. After painting the toy is covered with acrylic lacquer. We use fluid wax Biofa to paint one-coloured parts of the construction sets. It is approved for kids and has European quality certificate. Wax has a nice smell because it contains lavender and eucalyptus essential oils. After covering with wax the toys should be polished with clean cotton to eliminate excessive wax. But we cannot provide a perfect polishing of each toy because of price.
How safe are your toys? Do they comply the quality standards?
 Our toys are approved as a safe product for kids of more than 3 years old. If a baby is younger be aware of small parts which may be dangerous.
How can I clean the toy? Can I wash it with water?
 The toys are of long duration if you do not get them wet. But if it is necessary you can gently clean them with wet cotton. Do not assemble a puzzle right after cleaning. Let it dry properly.
What should I do if the toy has certain defects?
 Wood is inhomogeneous material. During each step of production we pay close attention to quality of our goods. Sometimes hidden defects occur, such as microcracks or cavitation filled with pitch. A birch, for example, being wet is prone to change its shape and to spring. Besides, defect’s criteria of customers and producers are not always the same. In our opinion, imperfect finishing or white limbs just accent the individuality of each wooden toy. All spoiled products we are ready to replace with new ones or return money back to the customer. To prove that a toy has a defect please send us photo or a toy itself. We will pay for shipping.
The price of your toys is higher than the other one. Why is it so?
 A process of making a toy has the following steps. A trunk of tree is cut in the forest, all limbs are removed, then it is transported to a lumber-mill. Trunks are bucked and boards are delivered to our workshop. Then boards are dried in a dry kiln or in the open air. A dried wood is worked out into the pieces of needed dimensions. Our workers make a stamp of toy’s silhouette on it. Then using electrical jigger a base shape is made. Then a toy is polishing and faceting. The holes are wimbled where it is necessary. Then all toys are inspected and polished by hands. All parts of a composition are marked with a unique sign to identify which set it belongs to. After that the toy is sent for painting, surfacing, finishing, assembling. In the storage it is finally inspected for defects and packed into boxes. So as you can see a process of making a toy is rather laborious – we have at least 12-15 operations inside our workshop. Therefore the price of such a toy is higher than a plastic or even a wooden one but made by a conveyer line.

Idea, Values and Philosophy.

Out Philosophy of toy production
 Some of our ideas on a “perfect” toy are similar to the Waldorf’s pedagogic principles. First of all a toy should be addressed to a kid and speak to him in his or her language. Power of Creation manifests itself in natural materials like wood, cotton, wool, wax. Natural mineral paints are best for color harmony. We are permanently in search for the best color balance based on Gethe’s circle where all colors are gently following each other to form a circle.

We use natural plant oils like flaxseed oil or wax that are going well with unpainted wood. Sometime we do not cover a toy to give a kid the chance to paint it on his own. Ideally each toy should be painted and processed by the workers with hands or using simple tools. In this case the toy gets its individuality. The personal style of each of our painters is quite recognizable and we put a personal stamp on the reverse side of a product.

We use Russian fairytale themes and characters for our wooden puzzles because they “speak” the same language as a preschool child. We consciously use simplified images of faces and body forms keeping to proportions without splitting the body into pieces. All the characters of puzzles are integrated together into the organic whole. It is important that each fragment of this puzzle should be the one-piece figure. Splitting the whole into fragments is not desirable for the kids of that age. A face painted without details gives a child the opportunity to imagine the toy in the mood that corresponds to his own at a given moment. If the face is painted in details it will be intended rather for adult people than for a child.

Creating each new toy we think of what senses of a child can be developed and affected with the help of it.
The sense of color (by using harmonic color balance of painting)
The sense of touch (by contacting with natural materials)
The sense of balance (when building anaxial pyramids, building towers, etc.)
The motion sense (while playing with wheelie and movable toys)
The sense of smell (by inhaling the natural wood smell and essential oils)

What toy is "perfect"
 We think that a perfect toy is created for the game that performs all the developing tasks and cannot be substituted with any special “developing methods”. Such a game induces empathy, sympathy, imagination, possibility of transformation between characters, implementation of ideas. This process requires patience and ability to bring to a conclusion. The game is considered to be finished if a puzzle is completely assembled!

If you have any questions feel free to ask.