When I was fresh out of college and working my first job, I would visit my favorite Christmas Shop and covet German hand carved wood ornaments. Still today, I own a village with a train and tiny village people.
Photo number one is a German hand carved Wendt Kuhn Angel hanging from the Moon.
Photo number two is a set of hand carved fawns plus a vignette in the back with the popular carved tree.
These both originate from the Erzgebirge Mountains in Germany. Originally a silver mining region between Germany and today’s Czechoslovakia, the “Ore Mountains” surface mines were stripped by the turn of the century and the residents had to reinvent themselves.
The residents of the area have become very protective of the resources around them and, rather than exploit the earth, have made the Ore Mountains into a tourist destination. They turned to what had been hobbies that kept people occupied during the long winter months, where mining was not feasible before modern inventions. There was plentiful wood and many cottage industries focused on wood carving and creating Christmas Pyramids and nutcrackers.
As Christmas developed, the cottage industries found a ready market. In time, these companies expanded beyond their homes to become small family-run factories or groups of workers. In spite of their growth, the individuality and uniqueness of these pieces still remains.
Today, this region is recognized for the wonderful hand carved Christmas angels, nutcrackers and other critters. These folks took a look at their resources, after the loss of mining, and reinvented themselves. Hand carved German ornaments remind me of a time in my life when I was first independent and living on my own. No money, very creative and inventing myself ………. Certainly great times.