In 2004 we met a creature that was to change our lives. Outpacing its owner in a field outside an Indonesian village was a very determined Indian Runner Duck. Standing upright like a penguin and equally flightless, the Runner Duck wasn’t like any duck we’d encountered before, and its curious nature, social graces and audacious speed charmed us completely.
On returning to Britain, we formed The Original Wooden Duck Company, DCUK. Our aim was simple: to design and hand-craft gifts from the sustainable bamboo we’d seen on our trip. We wanted people to smile when they received our ducks, just as we had when we’d met their living relations in Indonesia. And, thanks to the exceptional skills of our designers and makers, it worked.
We’re often asked where the ideas for DCUK’s new products come from. The real challenge is deciding which of our creative team’s designs to choose! We might be inspired by an emerging trend, a beloved story, or a chance encounter. The whole team shares ideas, noticing which designs generate the most energy and excitement. The final stage is a strict test: which characters make us smile.
Each duck and feathered friend is carved by hand in Indonesia, using locally harvested bamboo roots and offcuts that would otherwise go to waste. The tradition of puppetry is deeply rooted in Indonesia, where generations of sculptors and artists once created exquisite characters in bamboo. By working with makers from two villages, we help to keep these traditional skills alive and provide secure work for local people.
When each piece is finished, it is buffed and polished to the rich natural shine that characterises DCUK products, echoing the glossy feathers of the birds that inspired them. Our characters then receive their defining details: a pair of spotty welly boots here, a peaked cap or tiara there, ready to embark on a journey over the high seas and rolling hills to Devon and on to their final homes.
When we are all satisfied that each bird has achieved that special breed of duck company charm, he or she is given a fitting name and awarded the DCUK Pin, a mark of exceptional quality and irrepressible character. Representing the values that set us apart from birds of other flocks, this badge of distinction is our assurance that you are receiving a gift of exceptional quality and irrepressible personality.