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

Each figurine takes 40 steps to make.

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

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.

The figurines are hand-made and hand-finished.

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

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

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

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

Angel figurines dry after being glued together.

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

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