How Wendt & Kühn Handcrafts Holiday Decoration Perfection

Rejecting mass-produced bling and singing Santas, the Grünhainichen, Germany-based Wendt & Kühn - makers of traditional wooden holiday decorations - have been sticking to tried and tested artisanship for 100 years. The family company, founded in 1915 by Grete Wendt and Margarete Kühn still produce their hand-crafted angels and figurines in-house, with experienced hands carefully applying each brush stroke to every piece. Take a tour as the makers prepare for Christmas. Photographs by Krisztian Bocsi for Bloomberg

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    Each figurine takes 40 steps to make.

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    The current collection is based on the original 2,500 designs created by the company’s founders.

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    The Spruce, Beech and Linden wood used in the process is sourced from nearby forests. The wood takes two years to dry before being shaped and readied for use.

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    The figurines are hand-made and hand-finished.

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    Grete Wendt was awarded the gold medal at the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris for her artistic figurines.

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    To ensure the paint layers have the correct thickness, the figurines are spun after being dipped in a primer bath to remove excess paint.

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    Founders Grete Wendt and Margarete Kühn were both graduates of the Royal Saxon Academy of Applied Art in Dresden.

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    Every year the company selects a number of figurines to remove from production for at least five years.

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    Angel figurines dry after being glued together.

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    An angel figurine on show in the gift shop at the Wendt & Kühn workshop.

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    In 2015, Wendt & Kühn commemorates its 100th anniversary.