Pislik originally began as a children's book which was written by owner and artist, Vaclav Kvapil. The story is based around a 'Pislik' character and revolves around him and all the amazing adventures he has. The story became so popular that Vaclav started telling his story to children in a theatre as a play.
Vaclav then had the idea to create a collection of children's toys, inspired by his story. He got together a group of his friends which consisted of artists, architects, engineers, teachers and designers and they began by creating the Pislik figure. From their they designed each of the wooden vehicles for the Pislik to play in with the idea being that the children can tell the story themselves using the figure and the wooden toys.
Their aim for each piece was to create simple designs that were beautiful and functional with a focus on durability to ensure they would stand the test of time. When you combine this incredible amount of knowledge and experience, incredible things happen and amazing chidren's toys are created!
They are still creating new and exciting vehicles for the Pislik figure to play in, with their latest design being a space rocket.
Preparation is key and it starts with how the wood is treated and prepared before they begin production. Each piece of timber, which includes linden, cherry and beechwood is locally and sustainably sourced from the mountain regions of Czech Republic. For every tree that is cut, another one is planted to ensure the forests are regenerated and sustained which reduces the negative impact on the land and environment.
All of the timber used is air dried naturally - a technique which is not commonly used these days due to the fact that it takes over 3 years in total to complete.
This process involves stacking each piece carefully, with spaces in between to allow air to flow through and then turning them every 6 months to ensure they maintain their shape and do not bend or curve.
Once they have had sufficient drying time, each piece is carefully scanned for imperfections and any pieces that are not suitable for use, as well as any off cuts are then sent to a local recycling depot where they are used by the local community for various other projects.
The purpose of this lengthy process is to avoid using machinery or chemicals during production and means that they end up with a higher quality, more easily workable wood that is also incredibly strong and sturdy.