CREATOR: Chris Guymer makes handmade wooden toys from his home in Warwick.
CREATOR: Chris Guymer makes handmade wooden toys from his home in Warwick. Elyse Wurm

Teacher turns toymaker to revive a lost art

WHEN his kids were growing up, Chris Guymer would spend hours in his shed creating wooden toys for them to play with.

Having taught manual arts for 30 years, the Warwick creator enjoyed working with his hands but he enjoyed it so much it became consuming so he gave it away.

But in the past six years he has retired and returned to the forgotten art to thrill the next generation.

"I made toys for my kids and then friends wanted some and it built from there,” Mr Guymer said.

"The timer toys are more sturdy and if something happens to break you can repair it.

"It's a little more green than plastic too.”

Mr Guymer creates a wide variety of toys, from helicopters to trucks and rocking horses.

He uses patterns found in books on wooden toys, but often modifies them to suit his purpose.

Holding a stall at Warwick Uber Markets, he enjoys seeing the delight on the faces of market-goers of all ages.

"The kids will come up and then an adult will say they had one growing up, so it brings up a lot of memories for people as well,” Mr Guymer said.

Mr Guymer said he decided to continue creating toys because nobody else was doing it and it's becoming a lost art.

"People don't have the time they used to, to do it,” he said.

The former Killarney P-10 State School teacher said he also makes furniture out of reclaimed wood and sometimes recycles wood for his toys.

"I don't like to see it butchered up into recycling and mulched,” he said.

Without a website, Mr Guymer relies on markets and word of mouth for promotion but says he is kept as busy as he wants to be.

A love of creating inspires Mr Guymer to keep creating, especially now he has grandchildren to make and repair toys for.

"You start off with a piece of wood and you end up with something usable,” he said.

For more information visit the Chris' Toys Facebook page.