At first, craftsmen worked entirely by hand. Wood was left untreated or was varnished or painted. Paints were also hand-made. Toys like skittles or bowling pins were decorated with thin stripes or lines of coloured paint. This painstaking work was done by women called "liners" who used a small treadle lathe. This technique was used in the Jura region that produced a lot of wooden toys.

The advent of automation transformed traditional wood turning. Traditionally, blocks of wood were turned allowing lathe operators to work on them. With automation, it was the machine that turned at high speed, equipped with various blades. This helped to increase production and lower costs.

The invention of the dipping machine, still in use today, applied paint by immersing articles in enamel.

But a few people still help to maintain traditional techniques by working as "liners".

This restored toy comes from the attic of a carpenter’s house. The colour has been reproduced exactly except for the watch added during the restoration by an artist who wanted to add a touch of humour.
Canadian Heritage Information Network
Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne

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