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Christian Werner's Large Noah's Ark

Posted on September 02, 2015 | 0 Comments

We are pleased to now carry Christian Werner's wonderful Large Noah's Ark

The Erzgebirge folk art world has produced "toy" Noah's Arks since the mid-1800s. During the 18th and 19th centuries thousands of Noah's Arks made their way into American and European homes. Today, Reifendreher (ring-turner) Christian Werner is renown for making the most exquisite Noah's Arks in the Erzgebirge. Werner has perfected the Ark itself. Using old factory pattern books, he has created an Ark that is reminiscent of the classic early ones found in an 1840s catalog. 

We offer his Ark as a "complete set" - the Ark, Noah and his Wife, and 12 detailed animal pairs: sheep, pigs, elephants, rooster and hen, dogs, bears, cows, giraffes, cats, horses, camels, and doves. Or buy the Ark alone and create your own set.

 

The ark opens to stalls under the roof and space in the hold to display and store your animals.

Ring-turned animals have been made for generations. As the wooden ring turns, 

the Reifendreher meticulously uses chisels to create precise grooves in the moist fir wood. The raw shapes of each animal, the Tiger here being an example, 

are sliced off the wooden ring using a hammer and knife. The toy maker's skilled hands carve the animal's final shape, embellish it with tails and ears, and finally they are painted by the workshop's artists. 

The ark measures approximately: 20" long x 13-1/2" high x 7-1/2" wide.

Build your own and/or find additional animals - Pairs (2 x 2) or One Alone (1 x 1) 

An incredible classic piece of Folk Art.

Posted in Christian Werner, German Folk Art, German Traditions, Noah's Ark

Wendt and Kühn's Winter Kinder / Winter Children - Now Available and Perfect for a Winter Celebration

Posted on January 18, 2015 | 0 Comments

The Girl with Sleigh and Boy with Tree were first created by Olly Wendt over 40 years ago based on Olly's twins Hans and Sigrid. She crafted them as a special, personal gift for family and friends.

Now, for the first time they are available to collectors. 

The Winter Girl and Boy - the Winter Kinder - include a bit of Erzgebirge history: "The Winter Kinder are setting out to spread a touch of wintery spirit among a large audience. Bundled up in their warm clothes and furnished with holiday accessories, these figurines will definitely make unusual accent pieces." On the Girl's sled, "Next to the star, bread and wine sits a splinter box. In the past the people of the Erzgebirge mountains used such boxes to store small items of value." Wendt and Kühn

 

The boy walks alongside carrying a wonderful Christmas tree!

          


Simply said, they belong together, and just as they brought joy to Olly Wendt's friends, they offer a special remembrance of the history of Wendt and Kühn and the "warmth" of winter for all of us who rejoice in the art of Wendt and Kühn.

In 2015 Wendt and Kühn will be visiting Boston as a part of the Handmade in Germany World Tour. Being in Maine, not far away, we are truly looking forward to attending. Hope you will too!

Enjoy our Wendt and Kühn Pinterest Board here.

Posted in German Traditions, Trees, Wendt and Kühn

New Year's Eve Traditions in Germany - Saint Silvester

Posted on December 31, 2014 | 0 Comments

In Germany - New Year's Eve is called Silvester (Sylvester). December 31st is the Saint's day of Pope Silvester, who died on 31 December 335.

Fireworks are all about the pure joy of the display - they are a must, and are seated in a pre-medieval belief that noise will ward off evil spirits. The churches chime in ringing their bells around midnight. 

Customs vary across Germany, but as reported by Germany Insider Facts, New Year's Eve traditions often include old superstitions, which have been passed on for centuries. 

Some quaint do's and don'ts for New Years Eve include:

"Don't have washing on the clothesline! This is an ancient superstition. It should prevent that Odin (Wotan), the chief god in North Germanic tradition, gets caught in the clotheslines when he wanders around at night. My mum used to say "when you have washing on the line, someone in the family passes away". You can be sure I follow that rule!

For a wealthy New Year eat Sauerkraut, or Lentil soup and you won't run out of money in the new year. The lentils represent pennies, but I don't know why Sauerkraut. However, eating the latter is a must in Hessen. Another traditional meal is carp, and you carry a scale of the carp in your purse.

Bleigießen, literally translated lead-pouring, is another old custom. You melt small pieces of lead in a spoon over a candle, pour the liquid lead into a bowl with cold water. The resulting shapes are fairly bizarre. Use your imagination to determine what the figures look like. A fun way of fortune-telling."

Whatever your traditions, My Growing Traditions wishes you the Happiest of New Years!

Posted in German Traditions