The Mader Spinning Tops - a fascinating encounter with a classic wooden toy
The quiet lanes of the roundabout
The spinning top - one of the oldest wooden toys ever and at the same time a timeless object of fascination. Today we would like to introduce a place and its people who are completely committed to the production, maintenance and reinvention of the wooden spinning top: The Mader spinning top in Parzleithen, Upper Austria.
There is an almost indescribable atmosphere where you meet the couple Margit and Klaus Mader and their artful assortment from their own gyro manufacture with more than one hundred different gyroscopes. Wood in a wide variety of colors and grains, elaborately hand-turned shapes and patterns, lively, bright watercolors. It is almost impossible to escape the suction that emanates from the extraordinarily beautiful, handcrafted spinning tops - you have to pick them up, feel them and then - how can it be otherwise - get them rotating on a spinning top. And when one of the roundabouts takes its course so obliviously, we ourselves sink into amazement and gaze and forget everything hectic, loud and nervous around us. We are then just there, hand and eye and the little top, made with love and devotion, which gently obeys the dictates of physics and rotates, and rotates, and rotates….
The top manufacturer Mader
The Mader couple founded their spinning top manufactory in 1991. With the awareness of doing something that you can no longer do nowadays: to produce an artisanal niche product at great expense by hand in Austria - and to be able to survive with it. But with the shared enthusiasm for the cause, passion and a good deal of perseverance, the company has turned into a real, handcrafted factory over the years, in which today several employees work with Margit and Klaus Mader to manufacture gyroscopes for the whole world. The beautiful, handcrafted spinning tops are regularly sent to Japan.
In addition to the traditional, well-known top shapes such as the reversible top, two-hand top, whip top, finger top, thunderbolt and many others, the Mader top manufacturer also dedicates itself to the preservation of very specific top models such as the "Defiant" (a model that only in Innsbruck) or the Trendlkreisel. In addition, Klaus Mader continues to develop completely new gyro models with a lot of enthusiasm and joy, which are then manufactured and tested with care and a lot of sensitivity. Only when the gyro manufacturer agrees that a new gyro model is ready will it be presented to the world of gyro enthusiasts.
Types of wood for making the tops
In the manufactory you can find all kinds of local woods. It is a feast for the senses. The light maple or the distinctive grained ash wood is mostly used for the tops. However, some spinning top models and tops are also made in other types of wood - oak, cherry, walnut, plane tree, birch, pear, elm or, on request, also very unusual types of wood such as Christ thorn, service tree and hackberry.
Production in careful, sensitive manual work
The wood used is sorted out precisely and with great care. Because uneven grains, cracks or even wormholes could disturb the even, quiet running of the top. After sawing, it goes to the wood lathe, where every single top is carved out of the wood by hand with great craftsmanship and high concentration. Where color comes into play, the top is finally painted - also by hand - with special watercolors from Switzerland. In this way, every single spinning top is unique, which has not only been worked with great skill, but also gets a good dose of attention to detail on the way.
“Arabesk”, “Rallye”, “Donnerkeil” - these are the names of three spinning top models from the spinning top manufacture - among the valuable collector's items there are even names that promise secrets, such as “Black Diva”. During the creative process of finding a name, one sometimes sits together for a few hours in the inn and discusses and ponders until the right, distinctive and individual name for a gyro model has been found.
The wonderful world of tops
The wonderful world of gyroscopes - between physical laws and the magic of their original movement. There are many friends and connoisseurs of the gyro - not just among the children. The fascination exuded by the beautifully crafted, very individual wooden tops is now palpable for us and the fact that even grown-ups have the beautiful little works of art from Madersche spinning top close at hand at home, where they are at any time being able to dance on a roundabout for a moment of leisure to sink back into where it is so pleasant and peaceful: looking, jamming and calmly concentrating on circular movements.