Thursday, March 15, 2018

How Wendt & Kühn started

You may have noticed those adorable little creatures on my side bar. They change every so often. You might be wondering what they are? They are little figures from Wendt & Kühn. 


As you stand in front of the Grand Sample Cabinet in the historic company buildings of Wendt & Kühn in Grünhainichen, you find yourself drawn into a fascinating history, related by figurines spanning almost ten decades. They captivate their onlookers with their aesthetic use of shape and color, proving with every tiny detail that creativity, artistic merit and skilled craftsmanship remain united here up to the present day. Now in its third generation, the family-run company is carrying on traditions that started back in 1915.
Grete Wendt
That is when Grete Wendt (1887-1979) and Margarete Kühn – both graduates of the Royal Saxon Academy of Arts in Dresden – founded Wendt & Kühn. 

Five years later Margarete Kühn married and left the company, following a previous agreement between the two women.
Wendt & Kühn has been based in Grünhainichen from the very beginning. Grete Wendt dedicated herself entirely to her work and shaped the direction of the workshops over the decades. She was a keen observer of life, traveled throughout Europe and created scores of figurines – above all her angels with musical instruments. In 1937, she won a gold medal at the World’s Fair in Paris for her compositions of figurines, which take shape only once the turned, shaped and sanded wooden components have been fitted together. After that, there was no halting the international triumph of the little Angel Musicians. Perhaps at that time she already knew that what is sometimes impossible for human beings can be accomplished by the power of angels.

Olly Sommer (1896-1991), born in Riga, crossed paths with Grete Wendt. She fell in love with Grete’s brother, married him and then stayed in Grünhainichen for the rest of her life. She left her own signature on the collection, above all in its wealth of color and the much-loved Marguerite Angels, which reminded her of her Baltic homeland.

Olly Wendt
Olly Wendt gave birth to twins. Her son Hans led the company through difficult times of social change. Today his children, Claudia Baer, née Wendt, and Dr. Florian Wendt are the third generation to control the fortunes of this family business – forward looking and at the same time committed to maintaining traditional core values. These values include ensuring that the highest priority remains the faithful reproduction of the some 2,500 original designs by founder of the company Grete Wendt and designer Olly Wendt. Every year a few of the figurines are retired and returned to the historic Grand Sample Cabinet, and are not made again for at least five years. An equal amount of care is taken in deciding which products – always reinterpreted to reflect the times – should make a return to the unique collection.

In addition to its famous angels with their green wings and eleven white dots, Wendt & Kühn is known by collectors and enthusiasts throughout the world for its Blossom Kinder. With their happy childlike innocence they are more popular than ever in today’s fast-moving society with its rapid changes.

Wendt & Kühn – Facts

Since 1915, the year in which the company was founded, Wendt & Kühn has been based in Grünhainichen, a village on the edge of the Erzgebirge mountains, in the German state of Saxony (in the east of Germany). Here, the values of the brand are part of the way of life. Here, creativity and master craftsmanship are combined with the productive spirit of innovation.

Today the company is run by the third generation: son Dr. Florian Wendt, and daughter Claudia Baer, née Wendt.

The figures are still crafted meticulously by hand today, just as they were about 100 years ago, by first class, highly trained craftsmen and women who bring to their work skill, artistic dexterity and a love of the objects they produce.

Fine German craftsmanship at its very best – this is what every product that bears the Wendt & Kühn name stands for.

The range contains in all more than 400 different items, which are divided into the following collections: Blossom Kinder & Friends, Grünhainichen Angels®, Angel Mountains and Accessories, Christmas Items, Marguerite Angels, Christmas Tree Decorations, Large Figures, Wall clocks, music boxes and organs

In Germany, the company's range is carried by some 750 authorized dealers.
Its most important export markets are the USA, Switzerland and Austria, together with Sweden, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Taiwan and France.

I love them and I have three little angels on my mantel. They sometimes find new places to hang out. They have been on top of my computer desk, on my entertainment center and on my dresser. My little angels are the baking series. I love to bake so whenever I see them it gives me the idea to bake a treat for us. They are so little and sweet. I love the detail and I know that they were made with care. I love that they are made of wood and handcrafted. 

You can find more information on the Wendt & Kühn website

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