As my friends and family begin to start their own families: getting married, buying houses, having kids; I found myself wanting to make my work a part of their lives. These wooden rattles are a small way that I am opening that door.
One of the best things about making things is the process of discovery and play. As I began to rough out the first few rattles, I played with shapes and textures. I imagined myself as a baby, and tried to engage the act of playing. When the first rattle came off the lathe and made such a simple and fun noise and was such a pleasure to hold, I knew that I would need to make more. I tried different wood types with different colours, grains, smells and textures, and the journey continued. Then when I started giving them to the babies (the real test), the success was amplified.
The babies love them. They first stick them in their mouths and enjoy the smooth wooden texture. Then they learn that they can shake them and make noise. It becomes a tool of fine motor skill development as different arm patterns produce better or worse noises. Then as the baby gets older and becomes a toddler, the rattle can become their first musical instrument. With the help of their parents they learn to shake along to music. They discover rhythm, and then dance, and the ball is rolling.
These rattles are formed from a single piece of wood on the lathe. The rings are turned off the shaft of the rattle and sanded to a shine. This means that there are no joints to break, and no poisonous glues involved so that the product will last many generations of fun. The rattles are finished with food safe mineral oil, so that they can be used as a teething object. Each rattle is slightly different from the last, as each piece of wood is different. These are not made by a machine, they are made with my hands.