Joel's website: www.madebyjoel.com
Joel's book: www.madebyjoel.com/madetoplay
Joel Henriques is an artist who lives with his wife and three children in Portland, Oregon. He is author of the blog Made by Joel, where he shares his toys and craft ideas, and strives to show the importance and fun of handmade arts and crafts. He has recently finished writing a toy and craft book, Made to Play, published by Roost Books.
We have five year old boy/girl twins and our baby girl just turned one year. I've spent most of my life painting, but after having kids, I had little time. When I was young, I made a lot of toys for myself, and also spent a lot of arts and craft time with both of my grandmas. Now in my art studio, I mostly make toys with my kids. I started a website as a way to share our projects with friends and family. That's how Made by Joel got started. It's great being able to share ideas with other kids and families.
I like to keep my projects as simple as possible for a few reasons. One reason is because I'm not very good at things like sewing or wood working. The other reason is that it makes the projects easy for others to do with their children.
Creating toys that are fast and easy to make, yet fun to play with is a really fun design challenge. I don't think I'll ever get tired of it.