News — Germany
We are proud to introduce a new producer to our lineup: renowned German ceramicist Hedwig Bollhagen. Vibrant glazes and distinctive forms combined with everyday functionality—these are the qualities that define her work.
Working in her studio in the village of Marwitz, just north of Berlin, Bollhagen designed and manufactured spectacular household pottery for nearly seven decades. For much of that time, work from the so-called "Treasure of East Germany" was commonplace behind the Iron Curtain, but nearly impossible to obtain beyond the DDR.
We carry a range of iconic designs from this historic company, from the sculptural watering can designed by Bollhagen in 1955 to the Salt Jar designed in 1923 by Theodor Bogler at the Wiemar Bauhaus.
Bollhagen died in 2001, at the age of 93, but the craftsmen and women of Werkstatten Fur Keramik continue to faithfully execute her unmistakable designs.
On our recent visit to Versmold, Germany back in May, we were able to stop in and see one of our current vendors-- the brushmakers at Bürstenhaus Redecker. Felix Redecker, the grandson of the original brushmaker in the family, explained how the family got it's start making brushes for local farmers.
The oldest building where brushes are still made, now with the help of a high tech bristle inserting machine.
The wood branding iron for marking brushes with the Redecker logo.
Now Bürstenhaus Redecker sends their brushes to stores all over the world-- including Flotsam + Fork! See all of our German-made Bürstenhaus Redecker brushes here.
During our recent trip to Holland (more on that later) we rented a car for a day and ventured across the border to visit the last linen twine manufacturer in Germany. After a few missed turnoffs, we arrived late and apologetic at the factory in the town of Versmold.
Once refreshed with coffee and cookies, Mr.Seidelmayer, the fifth generation owner, gave us an informational tour through the facility.
The majority of their production has traditionally been for the Germany meat industry. Because linen is stronger than cotton— each twine can hold between 20 and 70 kilograms of weight (that’s between 44 and 152 pounds!)— heavy linen twine is used to hang whole sides of pork, while unique color combinations of spun twine are used to differentiate between the various types of sausage.
We saw how the natural flax is spun from larger bobbins into smaller spools and balls on decades old machines in a surprisingly beautiful process.
The majority of the flax used by the factory is sourced from European countries, including the Czech Republic, Poland, and Belgium, however European flax is getting harder and harder to find.
In addition to sausage twine—or wurstgarn—the factory also produces a polished linen kitchen twine. We hope to carry both in the shop soon!