Traditional Croatian Crafts 1

When we talked about opening a small store in Korcula, Doka and I talked about the range of products  we might offer alongside of his beautiful traditional filigree jewellery.

We wanted to offer a range of product different to the other stores in town and products that highlighted a wide range of Croatian artisans skills.  We also wished to add a selection of Fair Trade products from Nepal – the chance to continue supporting Nepali producers and community development in Nepal is important to both of us.

Today I am going to share a little history of the traditional wooden Croatian toys that we sell at Seba Dizajn;

Hrvatsko Zagorje in the northwest of Croatia is recognised as the home of Croatia’s wooden toy heritage.  The distinctive style of wooden toy making and painting originated in this area in the 19th Century and is preserved today in a number of villages.

As with other traditional arts and crafts the toy makers craft was passed on from generation to generation,  while the number of families that carry on the tradition today those that do are proud of their skills and produce a fantastic selection of colourful toys.

Interestingly the wooden toys are generally handmade by men, while the hand painting of the toys is mainly done by Croatian women.

Natural, child friendly paints are used in the toy production with red, yellow and blue being the dominant background colours, floral and geometric shapes make up the distinctive patterns on the toys.

Wooden horse - konjic

The current range of toys includes about 50 different items including flutes, various animals, trucks and dolls house furniture.  The ready availability and popularity of cheap plastic toys and dolls has seen a
stagnation in the production of the traditional wooden toys.

We have been delighted to share the tradition, place some small orders and help share these toys with visitors to Korcula and Seba Dizajn, and further afield – we have just posted a horse and cart, truck and aeroplane to some customers in Canada!

Wooden truck - kamion

What was your favourite childhood toy? Or favourite toy of the moment? Would love to hear from you.



About Seba Silver

In June 2011 my wife and I opened a small store on the beautiful Dalmatian Island of Korcula. Our store (Seba Dizajn) showcases stunning filigree jewellery, all work is made on site offering you the fascinating chance to see filigree jewellery being made. Visit us at to see and purchase some of our filigree jewellery. The Seba family have been working, and creating beautiful pieces of filigree jewellery for over 500 years.
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10 Responses to Traditional Croatian Crafts 1

  1. showard76 says:

    I love the idea of trying to be different from other stores, I’m not a very experienced traveller but even in Norway I noticed that the range of traditional/different products available for tourists in most stores was very limited – commercially mass produced items being the staple repetitive thing in most 😦

    As for my favourite childhood toy, I would have to say that actually it would be the junk, empty toilet rolls, cereal boxes, scrapes of material etc that I used to create things with rather than anything ‘bought’ 😀

    • Seba Silver says:

      Hi Sharon, thanks for you comments. I too am amazed at the amount of mass produced goods available in tourist towns all over the world, especially when there are so many more options available if we look a little deeper/pay more for the products and shop locally! We have had a lot of positive feedback about the range of goods in our store, and it is often noted how refreshing it is to ‘find something different’, we look forward to being able to expand the range for the 2012 season.
      I see your creativity – art, stemmed from early days of constructive play. think my favourite was probably Suzy, a doll & her pram is still being used by my nieces and nephews back in NZ!

  2. Helz-Design says:

    lovely stuff 🙂
    and a great idea to place individually hand made traditional toy in the store as well .

    as sharon observed correctly we are all hit with mass production stuff but finding good traditional stuff is difficult.

    my favorite childhood toy – beside my teddy bear and my lego bricks – the rocking horse of my brother. 🙂 and my swing in the garden (my dad made it for me)

    • Seba Silver says:

      Thanks Helen, the handmade toys have been popular – a lot of grandparents holidaying in Korcula looking for gifts for the grandchildren to take home.
      We had some great swings as well, one in the garden but also some fabulous swings in trees. When we were in NZ earlier in the year I told a new neighbour that we used to have a swing in the kowhai tree that is now in his garden and he went into town the next day and got some rope to make a swing for himself – and the grandchildren, fun!

      • Helz-Design says:

        my swing was at the old carpet cleaning rail – i would have loved on in a tree
        those are so great 🙂

      • Seba Silver says:

        Rail swing v tree swing? might have to go with tree too, but am sure u had loads of fun on that rail swing, there were lots of trees where I grew up. Good tree climbing times too!

  3. Helz-Design says:

    sorry didn.t mean rail
    was meant to be railing
    but actually i meant carpet-beating bar

    couldn.t look it up first, one of the four legged was laying in my arm and preventing me from proper typing
    the other one wanted to interrupt this comment as well

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