Design: In Wood

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The Independent Culture
WOODEN ANIMALS can be found in the strangest of places, and the beauty of many of them is that they are often hand-made and usually unique. Check out charity shops, craft fairs and small, independent, African shops for unusual examples. The life-like fish pictured is made by Howard Raybould, who takes commissions and can be contacted on 0171-221 6984.

THE CRAFTS Council Shop at the Victoria and Albert Museum can be a treasure- trove of intriguingly tactile little diversions, such as softly sculpted wooden forms by designers like Susan Wraight and Guy Taplin.

Call the Crafts Council for details on 0171-589 5070

MORE WIDELY available are Besmo Giraffes (single and "love pairs") and their animal friends from Once A Tree, which has shops in Cheltenham, Bath, Perth, Oxford, Glasgow and Stratford Upon Avon. (Call 01242 224642, for details.) The giraffes range from pounds 7.50 for an 8in-tall model to pounds 96.95 for the 48in version. Other animals include an elephant who supports a stool on his trunk (pounds 91.95), some beautiful horses and dolphins (pounds 25- 375), and an adorable fish (pounds 36.95).

FOR A selection of fairly traded products from diverse, renewable sources, look no further than Oxfam's catalogue and stores.

(01865 313600 for stockists. For catalogues, call 01392 429428).