Tag Archives: toys

Clauss Chess: toymaker

I still don’t entirely understand the history and origin of this image being as my German is non-existent and Google translator is only so good. Do love the perspective of the room though it’s a pity that Clauss doesn’t appear to have room to stand up without hitting his head on those beautifully rendered ceiling beams.

Clauss Chess, toymaker. 1558.

Toys from Lindsborg: Lester Raymer

I’ve written a bit about Lester Raymer before. Though his bread and butter was painting, he also had a tradition of making a toy — usually animated — for his wife Ramona every Christmas.

Lester Raymer, Roster on Cart with Wheels. 1980.
from Lester Raymer: A Collection of Essays. Published by Red Barn Studio and The Raymer Society, 1998.

Toys from Lindsborg: maker unknown

I’ve had these toys for nearly as long as I can remember. I can recall one occasion when my family and I visited the maker’s shop. I was likely not more than four. All I can really remember is that it was dark, dusty, and wonderful. We had other outdoor objects — whirligigs and the like — now surely lost to weather and time. The materials are quite rough and frugal: mostly pallet wood and related cast offs.

These toys now reside my son and daughter’s rooms, high on shelves, as they once did in my bedroom.

It really bugs me that I don’t even know the name of the man who made them.

[UPDATE: Thanks to Mike Rodriquez of Lindsborg for identifying the maker as Rueben Strange.]

Lester Raymer’s Red Barn Studio

Lester Raymer, Promotional card, lino-cut.

Lester Raymer, Promotional card, lino-cut.

One of the reasons that I have chosen to take on the moniker of New Gottland is to connect me to the artistic heritage that influences my esthetic preoccupations and motives. Perhaps the man that represents this heritage most wholly for me is Lester Raymer. Continue reading