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handmade vintage christmas ornaments 18 Nov

Vintage Christmas Ornaments

The Timeless Beauty of Vintage Christmas Ornaments

Winter has arrived and with it comes the joy of the holidays. It is time to begin planning how to make this year the most festive yet. A large part of each holiday season is the fun of decorating for Christmas. In most houses the tree takes center stage, with the ornaments highlighting the beauty, joy and love of the season. For many, the current trend of collecting vintage Christmas ornaments has added a new dimension of fun and excitement to the season. These keepsake ornaments add both beauty and character to any tree. For vintage lovers and holiday enthusiasts, finding the perfect vintage ornaments to complement your holiday decorations can be both fun and rewarding.

The Trend of Vintage Christmas Décor

In some ways, vintage Christmas ornaments and other décor has been popular forever. Cherished ornaments, holiday ware and other decorations have been passed down from generation to generation. These keepsakes always bring back fond memories of holidays filled with family, fun, food and good times. There are many vintage Christmas decorations on the market including ornaments from around the world, glassware, toys and figurines. One of the most popular trends is for vintage Christmas ornaments, and especially German Christmas Ornaments.

History of Christmas Ornaments

The roots of decorating a tree for Christmas began in Germany, with the first known decorations being simple white candles. As time went on, the decorations evolved. The tradition of setting up a tree in the house first occurred in the early 1600s in Strasbourg. Trees at that time displayed simple decorations such as candles, roses and candies. Tinsel was introduced soon after and was made from pure silver. Eventually this tradition made its way to England where the decorations took on more sophistication. In the 1800s, trees were often decorated with fruits and nuts. It was also in this century that glass ornaments made their debut.

Around the 1880s, glassmakers in Lauscha, Germany, began making Christmas ornaments in large quantities. These new, affordable ornaments were a hit with the public and soon many other families were making them as well. German Christmas ornaments hit the US market when F.W. Woolworth imported them. They were as popular in the US as in Germany, with Woolworth selling an estimated $25 million worth of the ornaments in 10 years. Beyond glass, early ornaments were also made of pressed paper and embossed paper. In Dresden, artisans crafted ornaments into brightly colored animals. Japan and the Czech Republic entered the ornament business in the 1920s adding color and intricate designs. Germany remained the leader in Christmas ornament production until WWI. Following the war the German market recovered but at the same time F.W. Woolworth began working with a US company, Corning, to produce ornaments in their light bulb factory. This marked the US’s introduction into the ornament making industry and by the 1940s the US production outpaced that of Germany.

The Allure of German Christmas Ornaments

Among all the gorgeous vintage Christmas ornaments, those originating from Germany, are the type people most frequently look for when they are in the market to buy vintage ornaments. Known as figurals, these ornaments are whimsical and intricately designed. Figurals were produced in a wide range of shapes, styles, colors and designs. They often depicted objects, such as fruits, animals, insects, Christmas themes, cartoon characters, notable people of the time and many others. The kugel is probably the most popular type of figural. Kugels are exquisite glass balls produced in Germany from the 1840s to the early 1900s. The original Kugels were actually too heavy to hang on trees so they would be attached to ceilings where they would dangle year round. Lighter kugels hit the market in about 1855 and quickly adorned Christmas trees. Kugels were made of glass in an array of colors, lined with silver and topped with a brass cap.

The Value of Vintage Christmas Ornaments

There is a thriving market to buy vintage ornaments. The enthusiasm for these decorations of the past has made the price of vintage Christmas ornaments rise. Many of the most sought after ornaments are German figurals shaped like famous characters and people of the time. Shapes of common objects like grapes or other fruit, airplanes, animals and many others are also popular. Rare pieces can go for $1000 or more. More affordable items can be found within the $100- $300 range.

Buy Vintage Ornaments at Affordable Prices

The cost of collecting vintage Christmas ornaments can be prohibitive for some, but the beauty of these ornaments can still be gained through quality replicas. For those looking to acquire ornaments with the character feel of vintage, the high quality replicas found at handmade-xmas.com are worth checking out. These beautiful, handmade ornaments come in a variety of styles and colors to add beauty to any Christmas tree or other decorating plan. Affordable, classic and exquisite these ornaments have all the show stopping allure of a vintage ornament without the high price.

history christmas ornaments handmade 16 Jul

The History of Christmas Tree and Ornaments

The History of Christmas

A holiday that is celebrated in many countries annually. What is it about? There are decorations, including trees, lights, and gifts. Finally, we learn the meaning of the day as a religious one, but where did it all begin? Why was a tree chosen as a symbol and what does it represent? One of the most well-known theories is that an English monk named St. Boniface went to Germany in the 7th or 8th century. He became the Apostle of the German people and he brought a fir tree to them. St. Boniface started the belief that the shape of the fir tree was a symbol of the holy trinity. The holy trinity includes God, his son Jesus and the holy spirit. This began the history of Christmas.

German Christmas Decorations

Religious Germans appreciated the traditions and began decorating the tree in a ritualistic manner. First, they started with plain white candles. This simple decoration began to evolve in the 15th century. In Latvia, a representation of the Virgin Mary was incorporated in the decorations by adding roses. This is said to be the beginning of the latest Christmas decorations. In Strasbourg, in 1605 a tree was brought indoors and lined with roses, lights, wafers, and candies. A new trend of German Christmas decorations began. About 5 years later tinsel was created with pure silver. The tradition carried over to England and the decorations were even more elaborate. These new fancy decorations featured glass beads and hand-sewn snowflakes. In the first ten years of the 1800s, decorations became edible. Trees were decorated with delicious fruit and nuts. Before long, various types of fruit were hung on the trees along with streamers and shiny foil. This began the season of lights and merriment. German Christmas decorations started including gingerbread, the U.S. starting hanging strings of cranberries and popcorn. The U.K. made ornaments with lace, paper, and other things.

Glass Christmas ornaments

Before the 1880’s families created their own ornaments. The only ornaments that could be purchased in Germany were cast lead and hand-blown glass Christmas ornaments. Glass makers in Lausha started making glass ornaments for the larger market. These ornaments sold immediately and most families got involved with ornament production. Germany had a monopoly on glass ornaments. Most hand-blown glass ornaments were purchased exclusively from Germany. F.W. Woolworth started importing German ornaments into the U.S. in the 1880’s. Within ten years, he sold about $25 million worth of the ornaments. In Dresden, a city near Lauscha, the artisans made nonglass, bright colored ornaments in animal shapes. These ornaments were made out of pressed and embossed paper. There were other ornaments made from pressed tin and tinfoil strips. The strips were called icicles or tinsel and were a big hit in Germany. By the 1920s Japan and the Czech Republic entered the ornament market and started introducing more colorful designs and fancy ornaments. When World War I happened, the glass ornaments from Germany were greatly affected. The market recovered after the war, however, Max Eckhardt, a U.S. businessman associated with the glass ornaments felt that a second war would be too risky. He decided to team up with F.W. Woolworth and they convinced the Corning company of N.Y. to use their light bulb making machine to also create glass ornaments. This process was a success. By 1940 the Corning company was creating glass ornaments on a larger scale than Germany was able to. They would then ship them to other companies to decorate. Eckhardt was able to start his All-American company, Shiny Brite.

Christmas Tree Ornaments

Just as Eckhardt suspected, glass ornaments took another big hit after WWII and the materials for making the glass ornaments had to change. The inner silver lining was changed to pastel colors and the metal cap was changed to cardboard. After WWII F.W. Woolworth and its competitors were the main ones selling Christmas tree ornaments and decorations. The sales were driven by the complex designs and varieties of the ornaments available. The Lausche glassworks became state-owned entities after the war. There was no more production, and the fall of the Berlin wall had caused firms to be re-established as private companies. Today there are about 20 small glass-blowing companies active in Lauscha. Glass Christmas tree ornaments still exist today, however, most ornaments are now made of plastic. They are available in various colors and shapes and are sold globally.

handmae christmas ornaments 3 Jul

How Christmas Ornaments are made

How Handmade Glass Christmas Ornaments Are Created

Blowing glass is a process where molten glass has been stretched out. Glassmakers use tools that help them blow air into the glass. The Phoenicians created this process around 50 B.C. The first documented glassblowing was in the town called Jerusalem.

 

Many items, like handmade Christmas ornaments, can be made during the process of glassblowing. What makes these handmade items, such as handmade Christmas balls, look very impressive is the type of glass that is used to make them and the expertise of the people that make them. German glass is typically used to make these items.

 

The reason that this glass is so popular is that it is easy to mold and it has a beautiful texture and shine. It is not difficult to mold and can be made into many different shapes and sizes to be made into attractive and colorful glass Christmas ornaments that many people purchase to hang on their Christmas tree. This type of glass can also be used to make ball-shaped ornaments that come in bright colors like gold, blue, teal, red, and orange.

 

 The Process of Making Handmade Ornaments

 

The process of making handmade ornaments is very detailed. To make handmade Christmas ornaments/Handmade Christmas balls, the modern glass blower starts this process by using a tube of glass that is manufactured by suppliers. Then they can cut or melt the tubes into the amount that they need to make a certain ornament. The next step is to spin the tube on top of a torch that runs on gas which makes part of the glass softer and maintained at a relatively consistent temperature.

 

After the glass is prepared to be molded, the glassmaker pushes or pulls a foot level into a lower position which will open the mold. The molds could be made out of a lot of different materials like plaster. They can have traditional or shapes that have a lot of detail etched into the mold by laser beams. Soft glass is placed inside the mold as the tool that blows air puts air into a pipe that blows glass to stretch the glass out so it will fit into the mold. The glassblower has to complete this task within three seconds due to the fact that as soon as the glass comes into contact with the mold, it cools off and takes shape. The final product has all of the details of the mold and is known as a hard casting. It also has a good amount of tubing (also known as a stem) that is put on the top of it which is similar to a stiff toy puppet being on a stick.

 

The next step consists of injecting a silvering solution into the stem and swirling it so it coats the interior of the handmade Christmas ornaments. If a person is making a translucent ornament, they do not have to inject the silvering solution. A translucent ornament only takes the color of the paint that is on the outside and has less of a quality that makes it reflect. The last part of this step is dipping the silvered in a white undercoat and is left to dry.

 

Handmade Christmas ornaments utilize a great variety of colors and details to set them apart from other ornaments. The paints that are used on these ornaments take a long time to dry and can run together. For this reason, they have to be painted in a hopscotch fashion that leaves the areas around it spotless until the areas that have been painted have dried. The glassblower will paint those areas later. The decorations that are used on these ornaments are glitter and Ballo. Ballo is a “glitter-like substance” that looks like fine sugar crystals are put on the handmade Christmas balls and ornaments after the paint is fully dry.

 

The final step is when a run-of-the-mill person that cuts glass is then used to separate the ornament and the stem and the top that is made of metal also known as a catch is kept in place on the stub that remains. Tags and unique packaging to let people know what is in the box and keep the ornament safe are added prior to the glass Christmas ornaments being shipped off. You can also buy Christmas ornaments online.

 

The Future of Handmade Christmas Balls and Ornaments

 

The business of designing and making handmade Christmas balls and ornaments is a very successful business. New shades of color, brand new and intelligent designs, as well as a people starting to love how unique the hand-blown and ornaments with a lot of design are again and how popular Christmas is are the main contributors to this success. Not only do ornaments become treasured family heirlooms and keepsakes, but there are collectors that look for ornaments so they can have them on display all year round.

 

Making ornaments that are beyond the traditional Christmas themes have made Christmas ornaments even more popular. The themes of modern-day Christmas ornaments included animals that are on the bridge of being extinct, characters from books, tree toppers that are very detailed, rainbows for AIDS awareness, and disease awareness ribbons as well. Along with the United States, the other countries that produce handmade ornaments are Czechoslovakia, Russia, and Italy.

 

Design houses regularly have events where collectors may have a meet and greet with the people that design ornaments to get them to sign them and designers only making a few of their ornaments ensures their collectibility and their value. By combining strong traditions as background and creative and talented artists leading the world of new ornaments, glass ornaments are at the foremost of the business that takes place during the holiday season. The popularity of these ornaments is increased by the fact that people can buy Christmas ornaments online so they do not have to leave their home to get the ornaments that they want.

 

The process of designing and making handmade ornaments has become very popular. The tradition and sentimentality of these ornaments make them one of the best parts of the Christmas season.

handmae christmas ornaments 3 Jul

How Christmas Ornaments are made

How Handmade Glass Christmas Ornaments Are Created

Blowing glass is a process where molten glass has been stretched out. Glassmakers use tools that help them blow air into the glass. The Phoenicians created this process around 50 B.C. The first documented glassblowing was in the town called Jerusalem.

 

Many items, like handmade Christmas ornaments, can be made during the process of glassblowing. What makes these handmade items, such as handmade Christmas balls, look very impressive is the type of glass that is used to make them and the expertise of the people that make them. German glass is typically used to make these items.

 

The reason that this glass is so popular is that it is easy to mold and it has a beautiful texture and shine. It is not difficult to mold and can be made into many different shapes and sizes to be made into attractive and colorful glass Christmas ornaments that many people purchase to hang on their Christmas tree. This type of glass can also be used to make ball-shaped ornaments that come in bright colors like gold, blue, teal, red, and orange.

 

 The Process of Making Handmade Ornaments

 

The process of making handmade ornaments is very detailed. To make handmade Christmas ornaments/Handmade Christmas balls, the modern glass blower starts this process by using a tube of glass that is manufactured by suppliers. Then they can cut or melt the tubes into the amount that they need to make a certain ornament. The next step is to spin the tube on top of a torch that runs on gas which makes part of the glass softer and maintained at a relatively consistent temperature.

 

After the glass is prepared to be molded, the glassmaker pushes or pulls a foot level into a lower position which will open the mold. The molds could be made out of a lot of different materials like plaster. They can have traditional or shapes that have a lot of detail etched into the mold by laser beams. Soft glass is placed inside the mold as the tool that blows air puts air into a pipe that blows glass to stretch the glass out so it will fit into the mold. The glassblower has to complete this task within three seconds due to the fact that as soon as the glass comes into contact with the mold, it cools off and takes shape. The final product has all of the details of the mold and is known as a hard casting. It also has a good amount of tubing (also known as a stem) that is put on the top of it which is similar to a stiff toy puppet being on a stick.

 

The next step consists of injecting a silvering solution into the stem and swirling it so it coats the interior of the handmade Christmas ornaments. If a person is making a translucent ornament, they do not have to inject the silvering solution. A translucent ornament only takes the color of the paint that is on the outside and has less of a quality that makes it reflect. The last part of this step is dipping the silvered in a white undercoat and is left to dry.

 

Handmade Christmas ornaments utilize a great variety of colors and details to set them apart from other ornaments. The paints that are used on these ornaments take a long time to dry and can run together. For this reason, they have to be painted in a hopscotch fashion that leaves the areas around it spotless until the areas that have been painted have dried. The glassblower will paint those areas later. The decorations that are used on these ornaments are glitter and Ballo. Ballo is a “glitter-like substance” that looks like fine sugar crystals are put on the handmade Christmas balls and ornaments after the paint is fully dry.

 

The final step is when a run-of-the-mill person that cuts glass is then used to separate the ornament and the stem and the top that is made of metal also known as a catch is kept in place on the stub that remains. Tags and unique packaging to let people know what is in the box and keep the ornament safe are added prior to the glass Christmas ornaments being shipped off. You can also buy Christmas ornaments online.

 

The Future of Handmade Christmas Balls and Ornaments

 

The business of designing and making handmade Christmas balls and ornaments is a very successful business. New shades of color, brand new and intelligent designs, as well as a people starting to love how unique the hand-blown and ornaments with a lot of design are again and how popular Christmas is are the main contributors to this success. Not only do ornaments become treasured family heirlooms and keepsakes, but there are collectors that look for ornaments so they can have them on display all year round.

 

Making ornaments that are beyond the traditional Christmas themes have made Christmas ornaments even more popular. The themes of modern-day Christmas ornaments included animals that are on the bridge of being extinct, characters from books, tree toppers that are very detailed, rainbows for AIDS awareness, and disease awareness ribbons as well. Along with the United States, the other countries that produce handmade ornaments are Czechoslovakia, Russia, and Italy.

 

Design houses regularly have events where collectors may have a meet and greet with the people that design ornaments to get them to sign them and designers only making a few of their ornaments ensures their collectibility and their value. By combining strong traditions as background and creative and talented artists leading the world of new ornaments, glass ornaments are at the foremost of the business that takes place during the holiday season. The popularity of these ornaments is increased by the fact that people can buy Christmas ornaments online so they do not have to leave their home to get the ornaments that they want.

 

The process of designing and making handmade ornaments has become very popular. The tradition and sentimentality of these ornaments make them one of the best parts of the Christmas season.