written by: Kasia
I was born in the early 90s in an era of a toy frenzy and general prosperity. I had an older sister, who bestowed upon me a lot of various toys. Barbie dolls, Lego blocks and lots of stuffed animals… but I never gave them any attention, and my favorite toys were always those I made myself.
My family still remembers some of them:
1. a doll which could have make up painted on or washed off (her face was covered with a translucent adhesive tape, so it could be washed with a moist piece of fabric :)) The same doll had moving legs and arms thanks to hinges, and clothes I sewed myself (was this the beginning of paterns?)
2. a calculator made of cardboard: which, thanks to an elaborate system of rolls and sliding spacers, showed the right results of multiplication, I think :)
3. a penguin doll with a digestive system - this might be the most terrifying toy I've made in my life. When you opened a window on the penguin’s back you could see a whole digestive system with stomach, esophagus and intestines made of straws and plasticine. The penguin fed on plastic balls that were propelled out in the usual spot after completing their journey through the system :) Unfortunately, sometimes they would stick to the walls and then an operation was needed :( …
The passion for “making things*” was certainly instilled in me by my parents. Together we made sculptures from salt dough, masks from balloons or painted frames on the mirror, it was a part of our everyday life.
One of these activities resulted in a toy, which will now join our patterns inventory, in the children's range of products. Of course, I'm talking about the harmonica-esque, paper-based family. :)
I bet you have cut out similar family or two in your day. All you have to do is fold the paper, take scissors and cut out a group of children playing. They can then be colored, painted, covered with stickers and played with you your heart’s content, and when you get bored, you can hang them over the bed.
Below you can see our paper families and their evolution over the last 30 years :)
To this day, “making things" continues to give me the greatest pleasure. There was a moment when it was a source of shame, because when someone asked about my interests, I had to respond, that it’s painting. Immediately there were questions about my favorite painters and theoretical conversations took place. But rather than read or philosophize and theorize I always preferred to just paint. Today, when I dance the tango, draw illustrations, sew and walk in the woods, I don’t necessarily have to know all the tango dancers by name and by heart or name all the best Polish illustrators. I now realize that there are people who when they start doing something, they penetrate the subject very deeply and explore it completely, and I admire them sincerely. I simply belong to a different group, those who are totally involved in “making things" :)