Thursday, December 8, 2011

Steinbach Nutcrackers

The Steinbach Nutcracker signing occurs on Friday, December 9th this year, from 4-8 pm. Valley View Farms' relationship with the Steinbach family goes back to the early 1990s.

In 2003, we moved many of the nutcrackers out to the greenhouse for some elbow room

Herr Christian Steinbach would visit for a day or two in December to meet and greet admirers of his wooden toy factory's work. Nutcrackers, smokers, small wood carvings and ornaments that had been on display in our International Christmas Shop were brought back by our customers to have them signed by Herr Steinbach.
Herr Steinbach signs a nutcracker as his assistant looks on

But, he did much more than that. Each piece was signed and often contained a personal message. He would stamp or draw little designs on the bottom of the nutcracker and then take the time to fix any minor imperfections he would see in each one. Herr Steinbach would then pose with each collector for a quick Polaroid photo. Dressed in his traditional lederhosen, he was quite the character.

Kathy, Tim and Herr Steinbach delight the audience during a raffle drawing

For the past several years, Karla Steinbach, Herr Christian Steinbach's daughter, has come to Valley View to carry on this tradition. Karla is the 6th generation to head the Steinbach company in Hohenhameln, Germany.

Karla chats with collectors as she signs

She dresses in traditional German clothing as well,and, seated at a desk in the International Christmas Shop, looks at home signing nutcrackers and speaking to today's collectors.

Karla keeps the Steinbach tradition going

It's nice to know that these traditions, much like the art and craft of creating a a nutcracker from the forests of Germany, continue. Stop in if you have the chance, to meet Karla and speak to her about her work. And, if you miss this year's signing, look forward with us, to next year.

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