The Nesting Magpie

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Fränze Straessle Mobiles

You know, it's times when I came across adorable nursery décor that I -very,very momentarily- rethink how soon I want to have babies. NOT because I think babies are toys you get to dress up and look at, but because when you really think of how you can choose to influence a brand new person through visual art is kind of fascinating. I studied Sociology at university, and one of my favourite parts of our course was evaluating the impact gender-specific toys have on children. I loved my dolls as much as the next guy (unintentional play-on-words right there?) as a kid, but looking at it now, what kind of crazy message are these toys sending to children? I can't help but feel that there's a reason why young girls hold themselves to ridiculous 'Barbie doll standards' or why the male Grand Theft generation bring such danger to the roads?Mobile
This post wasn't meant as an attack on popular childrens' toys. I get that children need to be stimulated and enjoy things that are bright and shiny, so why not let them get as shiny as they want with an arts and crafts set, or some books, or something to encourage them to go outdoors and learn about the world we live in. Tools, not toys. Inexpensive, gender-neutral and timeless. Most importantly, they will help the children grow and learn and appreciate. And not to get to Coat-of-Many-Colours on your asses, but rooting an uncompetitive, un-materialistic attitude in kids at an early age with serve them dearly through life.
With all this in mind, I was so excited to come across these hand-made mobiles by German artist Franze Straessle. Made from vintage, odd and utterly random objects- some everyday, some of a more ambiguous character, each mobile is unique. When placing an order, you are asked to fill in a questionnaire in order for each piece to personal to each customer. Oooh, I love a bit of personalisation! So this is like the whimsical/baby version of a monogrammed towel bale?finds
These pieces are absolutely not just for the nursery. Like a lantern or ornamental birdcage, these would look beautiful hanging in a window or in groups of three varying sizes above a bed. Each mobile comes autographed by the artist, which is such a lovely touch. Other things you will find dangling in the sky from these pieces include pocket watches, skeleton keys, bobbles of colourful thread, cookie-cutters, tambourine chimes and, as you do, a mini monkey sock. Why? "Simply to be there- like us all."
seal and name tag
(All images via Fränze Straessle's website)

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