Carpentry toy

About the craft

The main trade of the Gorokhovets district, which was the leader in Vladimir land in terms of the number of forests, has always been carpentry. Local carpenters – yakushas – were known far beyond the borders of their region. It is no coincidence that examples of wooden architecture of the late 19th century decorated with luxurious wooden carvings have become the hallmark of Gorokhovets.

In addition to the high art of unique wooden buildings and house carvings, the cultural heritage of the mid-19th century Gorokhovets yakusha-masters included original carpentry toys. Such toys were called "wood chips", as they were cut with an ax from the waste of carpentry – wood chips and wood chocks. Toy-makers were only men, virtuoso carpenters who mastered the ax work perfectly and understood the artistic potential and properties of wood, especially of soft tree species (linden, aspen). Masters were keen to put all their skill and invention into the toy. In order to interest children they came up with design constructs that could perform simple movements (for example, all the parts of a moving toy were set in motion from one another in the process of playing). Such wooden toys were almost the only joy of the village children.