I’m Zzoë Rowan, and with your help, I’ll create a local revival of handmade toy making in the Hudson Valley. Behold the birth of Owliecat Toys!
"Owliecat is a sea-faring ship of magic and greatness!"-Nathaniel Lewis
All my life I’ve loved making things, and loved the magic of handmade objects. I've been privileged to share my love of craftwork with many children and interested adults, working in media as diverse as wood, paper, ceramic, tin, recycled plastic, leather, wax, and felt (diversity that is ideal for a toymaker). Just when I was thinking the perfect workshop might never happen, along came KidAround and Kickstarter, giving me the chance to bring the joy of making toys and other fabulous handmade objects to my community. There is magic afoot!
Saugerties is an historic village in New York’s Hudson Valley, and is home to some extraordinary landmarks, charming scenery, and fascinating shops, but alas, something is missing; there’s no toymaker making toys by hand in Saugerties or anywhere else in the Hudson Valley.
In Owliecat Toys' new workshop, I am joyfully collaborating with KidAround to offer the public a chance to buy fairly priced old-fashioned (or madly invented) toys, musical instruments and other hand made objects -all of my own making - and to see and learn how they are made. Your pledge toward this effort will enable me to transform this lovely space into a functioning workshop.
I'll invite you, the community, into this new workshop to learn by watching and by doing. I'll offer group classes, private sessions, and apprenticeships to anyone who wants to share in the joy of handcrafting.
The biggest expense will be, as in any workshop, the tools - especially the treadle lathe, which will need to be hand built. I’ll avoid the added expense of the electric machines by having the craftsman be the motor. This also reduces the danger of the tools when teaching students - manual tools work slower, with less torque, and with a faster shut-down time.
Remaining costs will include some paint and trim for the space, wood, leather and other materials, finishes and paints, safety equipment, rent, labor and publicity. All this will allow the work to be done in harmony with the earth; using salvaged and recycled materials whenever possible and sustainable, natural materials and methods. Since the tools will be human powered, I’ll have a shop that is friendlier to the environment and safer for those working in it.
Your patronage will benefit not only Owliecat Toys, but also the children and adults of Saugerties, the Hudson Valley, and yes, the Whole World. (Never underestimate the power of art and toys!) As I said, there is magic afoot, and I hope you will be part of it. Remember to share this project with the indiegogo sharing tools ! Thank you!
Note: The music in the video for this project was "Use Me" from the album INSTUMENTARIUM HOPKINIS, Bart Hopkin Plays Invented Instruments, 2002, used with the kind permission of the artist, who's work has long inspired me. Please see his site and works at... http://windworld.com/