Meet Madame Inbegorg Marienfeld, our Mastercrafter Toymaker and Friend for the last 30 years.
Pictured: Janice (Founder) & Madame Marienfield
Madame Marienfeld didn’t set out to be a toymaker. She was actually a nurse by trade, but always loved creating and caring for people, so when Dr. Ibrahim gave her a book on making dolls, she was excited about the opportunity to learn something new. Watching everything she creates come to life with personality makes me strongly believe that this was her calling. I sat down with her to ask her about her work and what it means to her to make toys for Under the Nile…
Did you know how to make toy patterns before you took on the toy maker position?
Just a little. I was always hand-making toys for my children when they were young. I’ve always liked the idea of creating.
What was the first toy you made?
I started out with the “Manderl” and the “Weiberl” dolls which are the Australian words for man and woman. She looks into her wooden case of toys and pulls out some examples.
Do you feel connected to the toys?
I have a connection to the toys once I see the first sample design. There are always changes that need to take place, but to see the doll come alive from a pattern is what I love.
Since you have been making toys for 30 years, have you learned any new techniques?
I’m actually learning new things with every toy I make. Each toy has its own set of obstacles that I have to think about to solve. I also have to think about how easy it is to put the toy together because we are not only going to make the one toy, but hundreds in production. I also have to teach our toy makers how to make the toy. This is a learning curve that takes time.
What is your favorite Under the Nile toy?
Hmmm, let me think about that… I really love them all!
My connection and admiration for Inbegorg Marienfeld has developed over a friendship.
At the young age of 84, I’m still amazed at how she works her magic on toys that start with just an idea on a piece of paper.