Sunday, 24 February 2008

Margarete Heymann-Loebenstein

Some weeks ago I wrote about my visit to an exhibition about Hedwig Bollhagen and that I would like to know more about her opinions and attitudes. By that I meant one thing in particular which kept bothering me since. It was mentioned in this exhibition (but in no way judged) that before Hedwig Bollhagen opened her factory in 1934 it belonged to Margarete Heymann-Loebenstein, who was Jewish. I had never heard of that before and those few facts easily imply why.

There are two versions. One says Margarete Heymann-Loebenstein sold her factory because it was unprofitable. The other version (based on historical facts) tells more of the truth.
Margarete Heymann-Loebenstein's ceramics were very modern and a big success so the existence of her business was never seriously economically threatened. She had to sell her factory at less than fair value because being of Jewish descent, avant-garde and critical her life was in danger in Nazi-Germany. She lost everything and escaped to Great Britain, but never regained her success. Hedwig Bollhagen was chosen as art director for the factory and so from the very beginning had everything provided that was needed. A very comfortable start of an extraordinary career, that in my opinion is flawed by her lack of being outspoken about that. She's often described as being unpolitical. I think claiming to be unpolitical is very political.

Here are some very interesting links I found on this subject. If you can understand German I can highly recommend you to read them.

Dossier in Deutschlandfunk and the
Manuscript of the broadcast as pdf-file (a wealth of information)
Interview with her lawyer Lothar de Maiziére
Reply to his version by historian Ursula Hudson-Wiedenmann
Warum denn mutig? Article in the Berliner Zeitung
"Wir sind alle sehr belastet ..." Article in PNN

Thursday, 21 February 2008

A Little Bird

Oh well, I'm in such a gloomy mood, although I got some more sewing done and find it really enjoyable. Even holding the needle gets easier (which is a very good thing) as long as I'm sticking to my plan of doing everything in small steps. Here's a little birdie I made. It's my own design.

I'd like to stich a leaf. This idea is inspired by Lupin's oak leaves, which I like so much but don't want to copy. I have a nice collection of dried leaves and chose this one to be my model. I can't recommend this shape though, it's a pain to cut out but I hope to present you the result quite soon.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Spring in Winter

I have to catch up on blogging some little crafting I did.
Last Friday finally was my first polymer clay day of the year. I find it always very hard to start again after a long break, because it always feels like starting from scratch again. Everything feels so difficult. My hands have to learn everything anew and there seems to be no developed routine I can build up on. I hate that! I used old canes to decorate a bowl, but I'm not too happy with it. Here's a picture of work in progress.

It looks like spring is coming already but I miss a proper wintertime, when everythings seems to be enchanted by glistening snow and the bright whiteness of it lifts the mood. Three snowy days in three months make no winter at all. There are so many grey days.

On January 22nd I was sowing tomatoes. (Is this too early?) The same sorts as last year. Eleven days later the first one started to sprout and the next day the second one. It's so nice to see them grow! Yesterday and a few days before also my cherry tomatoes sprouted. I hope they grow as fantastic as last year.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Soothing Sewing

Here's a picture that combines sewing with polymer clay. I took it because I think the colours of the threads go so well with those of my bowl. Especially the orange looks so lush with the pink and purple and blue hues.
(It's the bowl I named 'Tapio'. You may have noticed I started to give my creations cheesy names because I thought it's much nicer than calling them 'big bowl' or 'tiny bowl'. Whenever I look at this one, it reminds me of Tapio Wirkkala for some reason. I have no idea why, but it seems my brain sees a connection. So this one's called 'Tapio' now.)

I'm doing a little more sewing in small and slow steps at the moment to test how much I can do at a time without straining my wrists too much and I really enjoy it. When I'm claying I concentrate so hard on what I'm doing that I feel exhausted somehow. Sewing is so mind-relaxing! It works very well to distract me from brooding over troubles and political stuff, which can be quite depressing.

I read "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Brontë in the past few days. I got the book more than a year ago but the motivation to read it just now is very sad and grim. The book's cover illustration shows a tombstone inscribed with the name Heathcliff, the character Heath Ledger was named after. I was really shocked when I learned he is dead. It feels so wrong and still it doesn't sink in really and I feel weird at the thought, that tens of thousands of people die much more gruesome deaths each day, yet I am so touched by the tragic of this one, although I only ever saw one of his films. But I saw "Brokeback Mountain" a lot of times and it means as much to me as a film can do.