David Plagerson - Wooden Toys Made In UK
All my Ark sets are hand-made in the workshop at the bottom of my garden. The Ark Set in Mixed Woods is a collection of 12 pairs of animals whose character is best expressed by the rounded forms and natural decorative qualities of the woods. The Ark set is a library of woods, mostly locally sourced. Among those I use are pitch pine, black walnut, apple, pear, magnolia, sapele, sycamore, oak, yew, cherry. sourced. The Ark is made from ‘clearer and better’ Columbian pine, and a roof and the house lift off. The set is finished in beeswax which serves to enhance and protect the surface of the different timbers. With each ark I include a list of the woods in that particular set. Through handling, the collection becomes a means of identifying the different woods.
Hand carved, my wooden whales are tactile and painted in realistic colours.
David uses local sustainable wood chosen for its lightness and smooth finish, transforming the blocks of wood into simple but instantly recognisable whales, using as few cuts as possible before refining the shape and finishing these whales off with mirror finish paintwork. “It’s all about economy of design,” he says.
Originally trained as a painter, David worked as an art teacher in East London, where he was inspired by the Bangladeshi refugee children he encountered there,
“They taught me about simplicity of design, strength of colour and fluidity of brush strokes.”
Animals and other toys may also be commissioned. Cats, Dogs, Whales and Ponies are particular specialities.
The Whale and Jonah
The story of a man trapped in a whale: In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus makes a reference to Jonah when he is asked for a miraculous sign by the Pharisees and teachers of the Law. Jesus says that the sign will be the sign of Jonah. Jesus implies that Jonah's restoration after three days inside the great whale prefigures His own resurrection.