Make your own wooden toy at the Ludik regional wooden toy workshop
Try your hand at making a wooden toy in a very unusual toy workshop!
In Saint-Brieuc, wooden toys take pride of place over Playstations and the like... In just a few hours, you will see a plank of natural wood turn into a toy from your own imagination – for you or the lucky recipient to treasure. The workshop is open to everyone, for groups of 6 to 8 'playmates' aged 7 to 77 (or more!).
Welcome to the world of woodwork
You get the picture straight away when you see the big multicoloured wooden letters on the Ludik regional wood workshop sign at the Port du Légué in Saint-Brieuc. And as soon as you cross the threshold you realise you are in a temple dedicated to wooden toys: mobiles, puppets, imaginary creatures with moveable arms and legs, they're all here, alongside dozens of prototypes and hundreds of wooden figures hanging from the ceiling. The sweet scent of sawdust and resin floats in the air. Decked out in aprons bearing the workshop colours, the Atelier du Bois Ludik’s smiling team welcomes the young apprentices. The children, all aged 7 or over, have come to spend three hours at the workshop with their friends. Some have already been before, whilst for others this is their first visit, and they are all looking forward to using woodworking tools to make their dream toy.
Once upon a time, there was....a piece of wood
"What's really good about the workshop is that at the end you go home with something you've made yourself," says Mathéo, already a regular visitor. No need to bring any materials, as everything is included at this workshop, right down to the good-humoured atmosphere! Our fledgling carpenters start off with a little introduction to the world of wood – how to tell how old the wood is, and which local species are best suited to toy-making. On our plate today : a jigsaw puzzle for Justine, a sailing boat for Arthur, and a grasshopper with jointed legs for Lucas, while Mathéo rather fancies trying his hand at a lorry towing a crane...and what about an elephant pencil holder? Nothing teaches the right techniques as well as practical experience! Everyone decides what their project is going to look like and then it's all down to drawing it. So far so good. Next comes the bit they've all been waiting for – using the machines: cutting, drilling, and sanding, all closely supervised by the team members, who work alongside the children as they learn to use the tools.
Do you know what fretwork is ?
The Atelier du Bois Ludik is characterised by the practice of fretwork, which involves cutting out the pieces of wood using a specific electric saw, following the design drawn on the wood. We move the piece of wood towards a very thin central blade carefully following the design of our toy to make sure we cut out the shapes properly. The resulting concentration on the faces of our little classmates is a joy to behold! Finally, a thorough sanding down, to give the toys a nice finish – and to smooth out any little mistakes that might have occurred during the cutting out phase! Depending on the final toy, the next stages might involve assembly, painting, pyrography, varnishing, or making the joints...
A contagious passion
We can hardly believe the morning is nearly at an end! For some, there's still a fair bit of work to do, whilst others have their toy ready. It's time for the mums and dads to collect their budding artists, and this morning's crop of creations is already being eyed enviously by some! In fact, some of the parents are making their own appointments to come and have a go. The birth of a passion for lots of them – thinking that the Atelier du Bois Ludik has already celebrated its 15th anniversary. Wood, that most noble of materials, is becoming increasingly popular down here on the quayside and little happiness factory!
Text : Marielle Yeurc'h