We truly enjoyed finding these special little cows - two German kuhe in Almabtrieb dress.
The one on the left wears a simple wreath of flowers around his neck, while the one on the right wears in addition, the traditional, elaborate headdress of the Almabtrieb.
The Almabtrieb celebration takes place at the end of summer when the cows are brought down from high pastures in the Alps to the valleys below. It is traditional for the Bavarians to celebrate this passage in traditional dress.
These special hand-carved cows have been created by Hartmut Hennig of Deutschneudorf (just adjacent to Seiffen, the toy-making center of Germany) in the Erzgebirge mountains of Eastern Germany. They stand just an inch and half tall and are really quite exquisite.
You may also enjoy visiting our Bavarian board on Pinterest - where you will find images of so many things Bavarian, from food to costume to special places to visit.
When we visited the workshop of Bettina Franke in Deutschneudorf (a little town just adjacent to Seiffen, the center of the Christmas wood-carving area in the Erzgebirge), Germany, we fell in love with her work.
Over time, we have carried her Nativity sets (and they remain a favorite), and other creations, but we are especially fond of her Santa Gift Box.
Tucked inside the hand-made wooden box are: a hand-carved Santa carrying a lantern and pulling a sled with toys, two hand-carved wooden trees and two hand-carved deer. The box is complete with leather hinges and a red bow. The box is 2-1/2" high and deep and 2-3/4" wide. It is indeed a wonderful gift, but also a delightful scene for your fireplace mantle or Christmas table. Return them after the season into the little wooden box for safe-keeping until next year.
Once a year Wendt and Kühn publishes their Eleven Dot Post - the magazine from their Workshops in Grunhainichen, Germany.
We thought you would enjoy reading this special publication celebrating the classic Wendt and Kühn Angels.
Click on the image above for a copy of the 2013 edition.
You can also find a copy of it posted on our website.
My Growing Traditions carries a special Christmas selection of Wendt and Kuhn Angels.
We are ever so pleased to be able to offer this German Gingerbread House Advent Calendar.
Glitter-dusted and 3-Dimensional, this special Advent Calendar folds out to form a Gingerbread House. It sets up very nicely in the middle of a table so that the children can easily enjoy it from all sides. A wonderful holiday table centerpiece.
Three Fairy Tales are seen on the sides of the house: Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the Bremen Town Musicians. The calendar stands 8" high x 9.5" wide x 5" deep and is made in Germany.
We also carry Inge-Glas' Snow White and the Seven Dwarf ornaments
Enjoy a Fairy Tale Christmas!
We first discovered the clip-on Orchestra Angels in the 1970s in a wooden basket sitting on the floor in front of the check-out counter at a Crate and Barrel. There in that basket they lay in a bit of a heap, one atop the other. My first impression was how undignified for such exquisite, classic Angels created in Germany. Each one of them was distinctly a work of art. Yet, this was during the period of the Soviet Union, and they were made, of course, in East Germany. At that time, the workshops of the Erzgebirge were still allowed to create their traditional items, but individual ownership was quashed under the auspices of the equivalent of collectives. Interestingly, we spoke with a customer recently who had also found the Erzgebirge hand-shaved trees (Spanbaum) in a basket on the floor of Crate and Barrel. At least Crate and Barrel kept us supplied. Now we stock both the trees and 15 of the most classic clip-on Angel orchestra instruments:
To see all 15, click here: Wendt and Kuehn Orchestra Clip-On Angels.
They make a special addition to anyone's tree, especially to commemorate a member of your household who enjoys playing a musical instrument.
We were delighted to find a wonderful video from CNN on the work of Christian Werner. With his workshop in Seiffen, the Erzgebirge, Germany, Christian Werner is one of only eight master craftsmen in Reifendrehen - or ring-turning. His work is truly exquisite. Click on the image below for a lovely CNN video highlighting his workshop.
We are proud to now carry his work, and know you will enjoy his herds of cattle
We have traditionally carried Spanbaum, these delightful trees from Germany, in seven sizes (from 2" to 8"). The Christmas craftsmen of the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) have made these hand-shaved trees for years and years. They begin with a basswood blank and using a chisel tease out each curled branch. It is a craft that is truly an art form.
On the request of customers, this year we have added to our offerings four new sizes: 10", 12", 14", and 16" - which you can find on our website by clicking here, or on the photo below.