Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday night in late October

A few of  the quietly sublime, painted ceramic art works by Don Jones, these are from his "Atmospheres" collection.

A few of the exquisite porcelain sculptures by Jennifer McCurdy. Her website

The gloriously detailed recycled paper art by Kate Kato. Her website.

Love these little Bruegel like mushroom people.

Mushrooms- collage by Amy Ross
Ooh, her under the sea ones are so cool too!
When I was a teen in NYC in the 1960s, I discovered a small shop packed full of marvelous old Victorian images, which I now understand are called scraps, used for scrapbooking. They were vintage or antique ones beautifully printed, mostly in Germany by Ernst Freihoff. Many were kitsch but many were like illustrations from old children's story books. I fell in love with the cherubs and used them in my collages and journals. I still love them in a nostalgic kind of way, all these many years later, delighted to see them on the web. Apparently, the scraps are printed on old machines that are between 60 and 200 years old.

I learned just now they are chromolithographs. Some are called Dresden die cut and some in metallic, embossed foil paper. In German, these are called Glanzbilder, gloss pictures. Apparently, in the mid to late 1800s, scrapbooking became a craze all over Europe. Printers created these really wonderful images to cut out and glue in scrapbooks, which is called découpage.

Interesting to read a little about how these wonderful images came into being. The history of printing between 1800 and 1899. I think the Germans had the forests to make wood pulp for the paper and the technology for the printing.

I wish I knew more about the people who created these illustrations but I haven't been able to find much yet.

From the Walter Kunze website: These old-fashion styled Dresden trims/ foils/ papers (also known as German foils / scraps) are manufactured with centuries-old, original molds from the Erzgebirge (ore mountains) region around Dresden. Once it was the main center of crafting products in Germany.

The Krampus one scared me but was amazingly dramatic too.
I preferred the more peaceful images.

Looking up the crafts of Erzgebirge, I realize now that a large part of my childhood was under the influence of the cultural visuals of that part of the world, about which I knew nothing until a few minutes ago. The Christmas ornaments, like the nutcracker soldiers, all those simple shaped little wooden Christmas tree ornaments, the paper Easter egg containers, the little sets of wooden farm animals, they all and so much more, came from there, on the border between Germany and Czechoslovakia, a region called Saxony.

The supplies of silver, pewter, copper and lead were almost exhausted towards the end of the 18th century, leaving miners with the need for different work. As wood was a plentiful resource at the time, they focused on developing the skill of wood-turning. They became artisans of the craft, and we have been beneficiaries of their gifts ever since.

From the Saxon Gifts website: History of Erzgebirge

History of the Erzgebirge

The Erzgebirge region is located in the eastern portion of Germany that borders the Czech Republic. The area is known also as the Ore Mountains. The region grew from its mining industry but today is widely known for producing wooden German Folk Art. Nutcrackers, Smokers, Christmas Pyramids, Blumenkinder and Schwibboegen are produced in the areas workshops in the town of Seiffen and it's surrounding villages.History of Seiffen 
1324 - First documented mentioning of the town “cynsifen”
1500 (late) - Beginning of tin mining in the Erzgebirge region
1551 - Seiffen records 146 residents
1570 - Building of a mountain chapel
1600 - Establishment of a mining office in Seiffen
1635 (after) - Intensified movement from protestant refuges from Bohemia to the region 1650 - Earliest documented mentioning of a woodworking in the area
1699 – Johannes Friedrich Hiemann brings wooden products (Drechslerware) to Leipzig for the first time
1750 (around) – Beginning of the toy production using water-powered mills (wasserkraft drehwerk)
1765 – 28 spin workshops in 8 spinning works
1776 - The old Mountain chapel is built
1776/79 – Building of the old Mountain church
1784 – Beginning of the oversea trade of Seiffen’s products
1810 – First documented mentioning of the ring spinning (reifendreherei)
1834 – Seiffen records 1000 residents
1849 – The Erzgebirge regional Mountain Mining office is closed bringing an end to mining
1853 – The Founding of the state Toy Production School
1869 – The first steam power operated spinning mill is employed
1871 – Seiffen records 1453 residents
1841 – The establishment of a steady toy exhibition at the toy production school
1900 – Seiffen records. 1500 residents
1905 – Seiffen has an unusual winter receiving over 23 feet of snow
1910 – Seiffen records 1427 residents
1914 – King August visits the toy exhibition
1919 – Seiffen records 1764 residents
1936 – Toy manufacturer becomes an acknowledged profession
1951 – All of the in 1946 workshops into one state owned company
1957 – Seiffen has10 privately-owned and one state-owned toy production workshops 1991 – First Christmas Market in Seiffen
1996 – On the weekends before Christmas, 200.000 people visited Seiffen’s Christmas Market
Erzgebirge History
Textile art moth by Mister Finch
Embroidered Luna Moth by YumiOkita, her shop on Etsy
Miyagawa (Makuzu) Kōzan, Kōro (incense burner), porcelain, 11 x 12 x 14 cm, Japan, 19th/20th century, Meiji/Taishō period

A website called Love Is Speed with a collection of great photographs of fabulous, over the top Viennese rock crystal antiques from the 18th Century. All incredibly ornate, flamboyant, sumptuous and amazing.
A Russian website, also showcasing excellent photographs of 18th and 19th Century Austrian rock crystal antiques. Worth exploring. 

Am a bit of a sucker for ormolu and Sèvres porcelain. And the occasional wow Meissen porcelain too. Like this incredible one. 
 Flower bouquet Ormolu mounted baluster vase with forget-me-not flower décor and gallant scenes 95 x 76 x 44 cm Meissen, circa 1750

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