The “Toy Folder” by Rodrigo Solórzano is an amazing, simple concept – and brings great fun for makers young and old! I need to add that the Toy Folder is not a new idea and that I have not found a source where to buy it but nevertheless I think it’s too great not to share with you.
The concept: One buys a kit, in the form of an A4 cardboard folder, containing the source nets for a variety of animal models. The nets come on acetate slides, the kit contains a torch and the packaging converts into a desktop projector into which one can place a slide and project the desired net onto a candidate material – cardboard is a good possiblitiy but paper, fabric and any other plyable material would be possible.
The beauty is that you can vary the size of the finished animal by adjusting the distance between material and projector – as you can see below!
The Big Bear was Solórzano’s entry for the 2010 Cartasia Biennial of Contemporary Art in Lucca, Italy. The Cartasia focuses entirely on paper and cardboard and huge carboard sculptures can be found in the medieval city center throughout the biennial. Solórzano’s bear was made entirely of waterproofed cardboard and was a staggering 3.5m tall.
The building of 3.5m tall bear seems to be quite some work – but a smaller bear, shark or monkey – or a whole carboard zoo! – would be a great addition for all playrooms and grown-up flats alike.
As mentioned I unfortunately don’t know if or where the Toy Folder is for sale – in case you find it somewhere please let me know!
Found in the Pappdorf store: Cardboard furniture and toys
After featuring the cardboard furniture and toys (not to say “playscapes”) by New Zealand producer flatout frankie on the blog we’ve been asked where to buy their products in Europe. Unfortunately there does not yet seem to be a brick-and-mortar store but check out the online stockists that sometimes do ship internationally.
On the other hand there is alternative for all cardboard-craving people here in Europe: Pappdorf.
Children’s furniture made of cardboard in the Pappdorf store (produced by Green Lullaby and JoyPac)
At first we thought that Pappdorf produced all the products on their website but after having a closer look we figured out that they also bought cardboard toys and children’s furniture from other companies – in other word it’s a cardboard heaven. The products are not as “designery” as flatout frankies and some of the products are slightly old-fashioned. On the hand the the old-fashionedness does have some charme and the kids will enjoy the castles (a favorite: the pink one!), furniture, houses, ships etc. nevertheless.
Cardboard dollhouses – or perhaps a life(-children-)sized pirate ship?
The big appeal of Pappdorf is the wide variety of cardboard toys and furniture they offer. We’ve definitely never seen so many different cardboard (doll)houses in one place not to mention a total of seven different space rockets! The English Pappdorf website is not perfect but just click through the German headlines to see where they lead. Shipping is within the European Union only. And now hopefully only have to wait until the toys by flatout frankie also find there place in Pappdorf (German for “cardboard village”, btw).
During the last weeks we’ve seen pictures of a fabulous cardboard stove here, a cool dollhouse there… but only yesterday we actually found the designers and makers behind these pieces: flatout frankie! Of course if we read parenting blogs we might have figured it out sooner (but up until now no such blogs are read in the studio though times might change at some point…).
flatout frankie is based in New Zealand, all their toys come flatpacked (of course) and can be recycled in case the kids – or adults – ever get tired of them. Better still you can also just pop them together to store them or take them along on a holiday! The signature white details are just amazing – hot plates, knobs and utensils on the stove, furniture and a dog in the dollhouse and ‘Red Baron’ flames on the nose of the plane.
A growing list of stockists can be found here and some of the online retailers ship internationally.
Pixar’s WALL-E inspecting some paper twine
So this is what happens when you take work home and leave both your work (e.g. paper twine bobbins ready for a photo shoot) and your camera unattended. You come back to find some very interesting pictures on your camera that somebody else – e.g. the boyfriend – has taken. And quite obviously he likes to play as well…
We might have to invest into a bigger LEGO crane….
Elephant stamps by Noolibird and some home-made paper twine grass
Ever since I brought back an elephant stamp from Noolibird from the Selvedge Christmas fair last December it has been a favorite of my now four-and-a-half-year-old niece. So when she came to Vienna for a visit last week and stopped by in the workshop for some quality-aunt-niece-time after a visit to the famous Schönbrunn Zoo we had to hunt down the stamp and inkpad immediately.
In case you’re wondering why we have elephants facing each other (and only one elephant-stamp): my niece decided that we had to have kissing elephants and some scanning, turning around and printing later it was done!
But as any four-and-a-half-year-old will be able to tell you an elephant needs grass – and lots of grass! – to eat and preferably also a place to sleep. So while my niece was cutting the grass (green paper twine) and the material for the house (magenta and green paper twine) I quickly cut some strips of fine corrugated cardboard and folded the “roots” (cross-shaped) and “foundations” for the houses (round-shaped) out of it. Then we put the ends of the cut paper twines into the small holes of the cardboard, added some glass beads to the grass as fruit (very hungry elephants!) and were both very disappointed when my brother and sister-in-law showed up to collect their child…
In case you need to grow some of your own paper grass then the green paper twine can be found here. Meanwhile I’m thinking about getting more Noolibird stamps – hoping that the lion will eat grass, too!
I think I might have found my perfect Christmas Tree. Even though I’m quite fond of “real” trees with real needles that start to fall off right after Christmas Eve or even before I think this Cardboard Christmas Tree by A4Adesign would be a perfect addition to my flat. Well, my boyfriend’s flat to be correct – no way to kill this tree and he has enough space for a whole forrest, too!
When we were in London this autumn I saw the Cardboard Playhouse at the Conran Shop. I even forced the IPhone-owning boyfriend to take a picture of the house and tree (oh, the tree that comes with real red cardboard-apples) but never investigated what company is behind this great product. Thanks to Justine of upon a fold I now finally managed to find the company – and all their other products and designs made of honeycomb cardboard. Now I only need to stop by at the A4Adesign showroom in Milan next time, solve some transport issues and get that credit card glowing!
I figured out what I’ll do in case I get stuck again at the aiport due to those inconvenient Icelandic volancoes: simple and graphic-style origami and all the instructions can be found online at the Origami Club (and on my harddrive – who knows if there is free internet at the airport!). Now all I have to get is a big stack of paper and explain it to security. Actually I think that offering Origami lessons to travellers and especially kids who are bored out of their minds like last week at Vienna and Frankfurt airports would be excellent customer service by the airlines.
My new favourite store full with great paper products and Japanese design – and the name is an important part of the program: upon a fold! It’s really inspiring to see what can be made out of a simple sheet of paper and and a couple of folds (and laser cuts) – and a lot of thought!
Above are a couple of my favourites like the Fairy Tale Card/Garland, Broom Broom (not that I think it would help a lot on my desk), the World Ruler notepad and the Paper Blocks not only I, but my two-and-a-half-year niece would enjoy as well.
This is the kind of place I would love to see my jewellery one day so thanks Justine for opening it!
In case you don’t know when my birthday is yet – well, it’s only 89 days to go!
Oh, and make sure to check out the blog as well: upon a fold blog
It seems that I’m drawn to ball-shapes at the moment, especially those made out of paper, of course. I think these Japanese Paper Balloons would look beautiful in my studio – all over the walls and on the window sills. Of course they would look great in a flat as well, but I guess for somebody this is too colourfull (not for me, obviously).