How We Work
Each Figure is Unique
All of our toys are made by people for people in many steps. They are produced in batches of 100 pieces each, and the two artistic activities - crafting the shapes and painting - are done freehanded. Anyone who looks over our employees' shoulders in the workshop or in the painting department immediately recognizes the challenge of series production based on artistic handwork.
There is a pattern for every Ostheimer figure. The series are manufactured according to this pattern, and yet no figure turns out exactly like the other. The interaction of handcrafting and wood grain gives our toys an individual and, thanks to the employees, also personal character. Thus, each figure is truely unique.
How Our Figures Are Created
Original Ostheimer figures are created in many steps of handcrafting with a lot of dedication, care and artistry. Here we want to give you an insight into our work, from the design to the lively Ostheimer toy horse...
Take a look how an Ostheimer figure is created step by step ...
1. DesignThe wooden toy figures from Ostheimer with their unique design allow children to imaginatively immerse themselves in lively play worlds. With an artistic eye, the designer brings out the characteristic and inner nature of an animal in the design.
2. StampingUsing a stamp made for this purpose, the precisely drawn outline of the figure is transferred to the finely planed boards. The greatest care is necessary here when selecting the wood parts that are suitable in terms of grain and color with a sense of proportion.
3. SawingWhen sawing out the silhouettes on the band saw, the basis for the design of the figures is created with sensitivity and high precision. Here, precision is a prerequisite for the following work step.
4. SandingFirst, pre-sanding removes the saw marks and smooths the surface of the wood. Then trained artists' hands work out the living form of the figure. This creates the characteristic shape that is unique to our toys.
5. Fine SandingThe grinding wheel creates rough spots and slight edges. A soft fine sanding of the contours completes the shaping process of our figures and at the same time prepares the surface for the subsequent color design.
6. PaintingWith a steady hand and a fine brush, the toy figures are then artistically painted and given their loving, child-like appearance. Transparent colors allow the beautiful structure of the wood to come into its own and enhance its warm charisma.
7. OilingAn immersion bath made from high-quality organic oils gives our wooden figures color stability and a pleasant feel. By oiling, the wooden surface remains open-pored and is still protected from the penetration of moisture and dirt.
8. ShippingAfter a final quality control, our toy figures receive the product label and the seal stamp that distinguishes the original Ostheimer wooden toys. Now they can be carefully packaged and sent on their way to children near and far.
9. Ostheimer Originals All Over the WorldFrom the Swabian Alb region, the Ostheim wooden figures make their way to all of Germany, Europe, America, Australia and Asia. Manufactured lovingly and carefully by hand, they delight young and old all over the world.
It is the colors and the painting that give our figures their soul.
Why do we work exclusively in handcrafting?
We rely on the impact of a man-made toy because we believe that children deserve it that someone is ready to make beautiful, lovable toys suitable for children out of pure conviction - and by hand. Because children (and not only them) sense the impulses that are put into a toy: during the design, but also through all the steps of production. Because children (and not only them) sense the impulses that are put into a toy: during the design, but also through all the steps of production. Despite the volume of figures we produce year after year in this way, it is always done with the care, dedication and love that is inherent in artistic craftsmanship.
How often are we asked whether it wouldn't be more economical to switch at least partially to machine production. It would be more economical, but it would change our toy figures profoundly, because if they were machine-made they wouldn't have the same lively effect or such an endearing expression.
Film documentary: How an Ostheimer Character is Created
Every careful step is accompanied by the idea of giving children good, high-quality things to play with.
You can see this beautifully in the small videos, which give an insight into the production of the Ostheimer wooden figures.
Collaboration Creates Community
Our toy company has always had the basic idea that a healthy work process is shared by people with and without need for support.
This interaction creates an important social basis for the entire company. And we believe, it gives our toys a special human appeal - because the inner attitude of the people involved is always noticeable in the products they create.