Wood Fish Rattle
Wood & Linseed Oil
A quote about the inventor of this child toy, Hugo Kükelhaus, from the Schloss Freudenberg museum--I found it so interesting, I have to copy it here: "Born in 1900 in Essen, at a time when industrialization had already transformed many aspects of life, Kükelhaus spent much of his life bringing humans closer to nature. Starting out as a carpenter, he was an ardent traditionalist and rejected standard measurements, keeping to those which literally embodied human proportions. His main interest, however, was education, in particular instilling future generations with a closeness to and inclusion in the natural world. After several years of developing 'sense friendly playgrounds' (organgerechte Bauweise) for clinics, schools, and homes, Kükelhaus was invited by the German government to contribute to the German Pavilion for the International Exposition in Montreal in 1967. Visitors enjoyed Kükelhaus' experience stations so much that there was little left to take back to Germany when the fair ended. At 67, Kükelhaus embarked on the most active stage in his life, giving radio interviews, running workshops, consulting, and writing. In the next eight years, Kükelhaus recreated and developed his collection, which the Bavarian State commissioned to include in the International Craft Fair held in Munich in 1975. That same year, Kükelhaus began touring Germany with a caravan of circus tents and experience stations. He passed away in 1984." I was given this exact toy and the wooden fish when I was a child; they were passed onto my sister, and now to my nephew. We never knew the history of the toys, but always felt there was something unique to them; only when I found them on our trip to Germany did I learn the history of the designs. Even better was visiting the producer, the Hohenfrieder Werkstätten, at the Haus Hohenfried, a community of 140 mentally handicapped people ranging in age of 1 - 73 years old, living and working together in the Alps. Kükelhaus' toys are among some of the products they produce by hand. The wood is from the region and only finished with linseed oil. The whole set-up is very pure and ideal. I can breathe again... The fish has a nice texture and beads inside that rattle around.