Carla de Jong - Toys

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Phone: 02 - 9416 5259
   

General information

Carla sells from home and at the Glenaeon and Kamaroi School Fair in November resp. May each year, as well as some of the markets held at Glenaeon at the end of term.

As Carla is usually ‘hiding’ in the workshop in the backyard during the day, it is most likely that the frontdoor is not answered if anyone turns up unannounced. This is the reason there is no address mentioned here

You are most welcome to come along and times are flexible, just call 9416 5259 to arrange a suitable time to pop in.

Carla does not take orders as such. Every toy is made individually. She does not keep drawings and always feels that she can improve on, or change something on the previous made toy, so sizes differ, it might altogether look different from what people have seen and therefore it could lead to a disappointment. Also, orders come with deadlines and if anything works against creativity it is a deadline with consequent stress. It goes without saying that "orders" still happen for various reasons, so it is something to discuss and agree upon. And on a personal note, Carla likes to feel free to make whatever she feels like to let her creativity flow.

For people living far away toys can be sent (at the cost of the purchaser)

Wooden toys

Recycled timber or off-cuts are used wherever possible (hence some blemishes here and there), and when there is a need to buy wood it is an environmentally conscious choice.

Tree houses

Carla works a lot with camphor laurel, it is beautiful timber to work with and as the tree itself is considered a pest in Australia, nobody can have any objection to using the timber. It even seems to be the perfect solution turning a problem into something positive.

Camphor Laurel is used for all of the tree houses, many blocks, often as the front section of trucks and in many more toys.

"Play puzzles"

These "play puzzles" don't require children to sit down and think in a grown-up way where to fit a certain piece. They can place the pieces wherever they like, vary the arrangement and play with them, while they still develop nimbleness in their fingers and experience that not all pieces fit everywhere.

Also the figures themselves are kept whole, as cut-up pieces in a puzzle don't make sense to children, who still live in this oneness with the world around them.

"Blocks from nature"

These "blocks" have no conformity, children can strive in balance, experience the beauty of natural forms, the grain of wood and let their fantasy run wild in playing with living forms. Having to work out what works and what not (no conformity) strengthens the child's concentration.

"Organoil"

The toys are treated with Organoil, a non-toxic mixture of natural oils to preserve the timber. The coloured toys are painted with non-toxic paint or stain, or coloured with pencils, then oiled.

Dolls

These dolls are made according to indications Rudolf Steiner gave. They don't have distinct features, which gives children room for theirr own free imagination.

The doll is the image of the human being. Children mirror themselves in a doll, imitate what is being done with them or the siblings while at the same time the doll can become a trustworthy friend. The relationship of the child with the doll can be much deeper than we think.

It goes without saying that dolls are equally important to boys and girls, though some children don't form a close bond with a doll, which is perfectly normal.

The dolls are made from natural materials only (wool, cotton, silk and are stuffed with sheep's wool) and they are made by hand.

Children are always touching everything and develop their feeling this way. By experiencing the qualities of nature they can develop a real feeling. Synthetic material is dead matter, scientifically put together. When we make things by hand, we put something of ourselves into it and a child does feel that you give them more than the material part only.

Biographical notes on Carla de Jong

Carla was born in Holland, where she attended a Rudolf Steiner school for her primary school years, (origin of the doll making!). She studied medicine and graduated in 1970, the year she married Chris.
Shortly after, they migrated to Australia and started their "Ozzie" life in Melbourne. The medical degree was not recognised here, which was a major disappointment that took years to overcome. When the children were little, Carla started making dolls for them, which soon extended to making them for others, ending in a little doll-making venture. She then started doll-making classes at home and conducted classes and weekend workshops at other venues.
The wooden toys started in a similar fashion. She started work in the garage and soon was selling dolls and wooden toys. Since those early days she "up-graded" from the garage to her own cedar workshop in the backyard.
Carla has exhibited at: all but the first Craft Expo at Glenaeon, the Woollahra Craft Show, Bowral Craft Expo, St Albans Gallery, Her toys can be found in the Early Childhood section of the Australian Museum in Sydney ("Kids' Island"), playgroups, kindergartens, doctors' and dentists' waiting rooms and various other venues.
What started as a hobby has grown into a full-time job with a job satisfaction one can only dream of!

Carla and Chris have four grown-up children, who all attended Glenaeon for their schooling and they are the proud grandparents of nine grandchildren.

 

   
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