manufactum, and the red rubber ball

Product detail

it was my birthday this weekend, and one of the gifts i received was this red rubber ball. everything about it is brilliant i think, from aesthetics to feel to function. from the manufactum website:

We had thought that we might have to manufacture these balls in India or Vietnam, but in actual fact we found them much closer to home. One of Germany's last remaining rubber companies still makes this ball - it may be more expensive than one made outside Europe, but our tests confirm its superior quality. The outer casing is a 4 mm thick natural rubber blend, making the ball strong and stable. The skin formed during the vulcanisation of the rubber is removed by a drumming process lasting several hours. This gives the ball a smooth non-slip surface. (If the ball becomes shiny after extended use on grass or sand, you can rough it up again with sand paper). The cleverly designed valve is compatible with most bicycle pumps (a brass valve adaptor is enclosed with the ball). This red ball is for kicking, throwing, handball, football,basketball and volleyball - in short, it is a multi-purpose ball.

i love the bit about the sandpaper to rough it up. you dont get nike or adidas saying that about their footballs!

the ball is available from manufactum, which sell loads of brilliant things! from their site:

Dear Reader,

"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper". Over a century later and John Ruskin's observation is still valid; what's more, we believe it says a lot about the products on offer today.

There was a time when the only problem facing quality goods was competition from goods of an even higher quality, now it seems that inferior goods are the main problem.

Certainly, as far as household goods are concerned, there are very few high quality products which are not diminished by the proliferation of paler imitations, produced by unimaginative competitors at the lowest possible price.

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Products have increasingly shorter life cycles, they come and go, are launched and disappear again. Everyday items have been turned from commodities into consumer goods, not built to last, but to be thrown away as soon as possible in order to make way for the latest fad or 'special offer'.

Not only is this harmful to the environment, it also means that we no longer have a 'special relationship' with the things we use every day and which help us to do something well.

How many of the products on offer today will ever become prized possessions?

his is why we have selected items of quality in the widest sense of the word:

  • they are manufactured with great skill according to traditional methods and are thus reliable and practical;
  • the materials are carefully chosen to suit the purpose, and are, therefore, attractive;
  • they are made from traditional materials, i.e. metal, glass, wood etc., can be repaired and are environmentally friendly.
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    they have many good points in what they say i think. another gift i had previously received that was bought from these people was the cuboro marble run. again, everything about this product is brilliant. the feel of the wood, the detail in the crafting, and the actual function of the marble run. it works great, and looks good too! almost too good to use in fact, but then thats not the point. both of the things i have mentioned are in the toys section, but are great for any age i think. most childrens' marble runs are made of brightly coloured plastic in crazy shapes, but i'm definitely proud to have these out on the table!

    Product detail

    link to manufactum