I make Osmosis Learning Toys to foster curiosity in children. Helping kids ask questions about their world is just about the most important thing I can think of. When they have an interested mind, as well as an appreciation for nature, they carry this forward into their adulthood decisions.
Each stuffed toy has its own special learning element: leaves with their cell structure printed on the side, bees with their hive and stages of development, trees pulling water up from their roots.
Each toy follows an amazing journey, a harmonious process of technology and traditional handcraft. First, I draw the designs by hand in black ink, which I then load into the computer.
I fill all the spaces with close-up photographs: from my garden, from my walks, from my life. This is how I make the colours.
Then, I have the fabric digitally printed through Spoonflower, because they use an eco-friendly process and kid-safe pigments. You can read more about their process here. This is when the designs come back out of the computer and into real life – so exciting! After I pre-wash and sew each toy with great care, they are ready for little hands to hug.
Some toys, like the watercycle and season blocks, are direct reprints from silk paintings. This means I started by painting with dyes on silk, then had this design reprinted onto more durable material like faux suede. They have a very friendly, hand-painted feeling.
While all the materials I use are safe for children, a number of my creations have an all-natural option – organic cotton sateen exterior and cotton-stuffed interior. I always like to hear from you about what you look for in toys for your little ones.
After all – kids are sponges, choose what they soak up!