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Family Reunion in Europe

If I begin at the beginning, I will say that I was born in Munich, and that my family later moved to the Allgäu region of Bavaria, southwest of Munich, near the famous Neuschwanstein Castle (which is not all it’s made out to be … long story).
By the way, as I post this on Sunday June 30th 2019: it is 30 years ago today that I arrived in Canada!

I grew up with five siblings – four ‘whole’ ones and two ‘half’ (from my father’s first marriage).  I am a middle-aged woman, and my friends have started to get sick, some have died. Makes you think.  A couple of years ago, I started instigating the idea of a sibling reunion; my brother Peter took the idea and ran with it. This event just took place, and I am blown away.

with my siblings, our spouses and children and their partners

We decided to meet not in Germany, but in a place in Northern Italy which carries our family name: Andrich. Peter has done a lot of research: almost everyone in this village carries this name. About 250 years ago, some 150 people decided to leave to seek their fortune: half went to Brazil, half to Germany. All of them were carpenters.  We have not done the genealogical explorations to be certain that our clan originated here, but our father and grandfather were also woodworkers, just sayin’ . Until it was lost to bombs during WW2, my father’s family owned a furniture manufacture in Dresden, producing Bauhaus designs.

The village of Andrich is nestled in the middle of the impressive Dolomite mountain range.  We stayed in a town nearby. On day one of our reunion, we hiked for several hours through valleys and up and down mountainsides to reach this small village. We crossed ice-cold glacier mountain streams barefoot, shoes in hand,  and traversed villages along the way. Such a walk was the perfect way to share in conversation, continually changing speaking partners.

The village which carries my family name, nestled in the dolomites

Our partners and children came along. Sadly, the oldest of my sisters broke her hip a week before the gathering, and was unable to make it. We skyped her in for a couple of occasions.

My brother Peter and his husband Michel

We took further excursions to mountaintops during the days. Evenings were spent reminiscing.

Two of my brothers had brought along photo albums or had digitalized my father’s old Super Eight films and endless slides – Papa liked documenting! There were some amazing shots and reels, which prompted laughter as well as thoughtful discussions. It was very meaningful for all of us to get together, share memories, and reconnect after many years of having gone our own ways.

we spent a lot of time pouring over family photos together

Venice! Ach … amazing.

This was also a first meeting of my family with my partner of over a decade. After the big gathering was over, we went southwards with just my brother Peter and his husband. We relaxed in natural thermal waters which come from deep below the earth in this region, and took excursions to the amazing Italian cities of Padua and Venice.

On a drive which took a little too long, climbing over the alps like Hannibal, we drove through 5 countries in one day (Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein and Germany), making our way towards Munich.

this image still does not covey the magnificence of those mountains

Where we just came from

There, we dropped in on the annual gathering of the extended clan in the home which my maternal grandparents had build, and in which my mother grew up during WW2. I was able to show my husband the bomb shelter in the basement, where she cowered during raids. Many delightful memories were also shared. How great to see my cousins and their children and my aunts and uncles, sip tea and eat delightful homemade treats in this space that carries so much of our family’s history.

This back yard holds so very many memories. Here, I got to catch up with my aunt Fridolin

Europe Trip, Part One: Markets and Walks

As some of you might know, I went to Austria and Germany this past December. I thought I’d share a bit about that adventure here. As I am writing, I realize that this trip was so rich, I will tell you about it over several posts – like a Mini-Series.

Even though I was born and raised in southern Germany, I had never been to Vienna. What a city! I can’t even begin to do it justice here.

Vienna!

We were extremely lucky to be hosted by dear friends in the heart of Vienna. They took us around everywhere, and offered the most delightful experiences.

You’d think that the famous Viennese Christmas markets would have been a target for a visit. Yet, we noticed that our hosts deliberately walked big circles around each and every one of them. Stirred by memories of Christmas Markets of my childhood, I finally asked to visit a specific small one (recommended by Janet, of Viennese background, who sells apples at our local Farmer’s Market): Spittleberg.

The Spittleberg Christmas Market is not in an open square like most others, but along a quaint little street

But what I found was much changed from the markets of my own childhood: sadly commercialized, and not a single ‘artisanal’ offering was actually locally made. Most of them carried imported mass produced items. A sad sign of the times.

One day, we hiked through the wintery vineyards on the outskirts of Vienna. From here, we could see the Danube. Our host explained the importance of this river to the history of Vienna. 

The river Danube in the distance

Our host, Martina, has her roots here: she was baptized in the church on the hill:

The church on the hill is one destination on these kinds of walks

One thing worth mentioning about our Vienna visit: we had been there a week before we realized that our hosts owned a car. They were so used to going everywhere on foot and/or by public transit, the car did not appear until a week into our visit. A very interesting fact, culturally speaking, don’t you think?

That’s it for now. I’ll tell you more soon! I’ll cover these topics:

     Part Two: Gallery Visits
     Part Three: Churches
     Part Four: Eating Culture
     Part Five: Kyudo, and an Unforgettable Gift
     Part Six: Germany

Pop-Up Trunk Show in Halifax

Guess what – I snuck away for the last couple of weeks. Check my social media (especially Instagram Stories) for some pics in the next couple of days! I’ll tell you more all about my trip here on my blog, soon, as well. Right now, I am busy preparing for a last public appearance in Halifax. I was invited by my colleague James Bradshaw to bring my pieces into his gallery for just one day for a pop-up trunk show.  Along with the goldsmiths of Fireworks Gallery (my representing gallery in Halifax), James Bradshaw has been a big inspiration for me for over a decade.

This local artisan has been creating wearable works of art for over 40 years. I had my first visit to his studio as a field trip when I was studying jewellery design and metalsmithing at NSCAD University in Halifax in the late Nineties. The visit to this fully functioning goldsmith’s studio was hugely inspiring to me as a student – a real life example of what the life and work space of a  goldsmith could be like. I have often since then walked past the building and admired it. Thus, I am particularly delighted by the invitation to spread out my works and welcome my clients in this beautiful space.  I’ll have some new pieces with me which haven’t been seen before. So come and check it out!

Monday, December 17th
12pm-9pm

James Bradshaw Goldsmith
1551 Birmingham, Halifax, NS
(corner Queen and Birmingham)

The iconic building at the corner of Queen and Birmingham Streets is hard to miss

 

Thank you for stopping by!

Now that the holiday shows on both ends of the country are over, I wanted to say a big Thank You to everyone who came to say Hi in Vancouver and Halifax.

My booth at the Halifax show.

I really enjoy taking my work out in front of people, appreciate people coming by to show me the ring they bought years ago, and/or finding out what I have new.

Lots of interest in Vancouver, as always

I got a big response to this little video from show-set-up in Vancouver, so I thought I’d share it here (there are more of them on my YouTube Channel):

Hey readers, what do you think: should I come to the OneOfAKind Show in Toronto?

The Halifax show-set-up looks a little different, because I can lug everything there straight from the studio on my neighbours open truck

Speaking of which: things have been so busy that I have not had time to update the website with all the OneOfAKind rings I had finished for those shows. So: if you are looking for a specific size or stone, drop me a line and I’ll see what I have on hand! I will try to update the website in the next couple of weeks as I am able.

This is what I had on hand in silver OneOfAKind Onefooter rigs in Vancouver on Day 3

I am also planning a Pop-Up show for downtown Halifax mid-December – likely Monday, December 17h. Stay tuned for details!

My new employee Manisha was visited by her family, and is showing them what we make

 

Vancouver’s CircleCraft Market 2018

Well, my friends, I can’t quite believe it, but it appears that it’s time again already for me to return to Vancouver. August’s Harmony Arts Festival in West Van seems just yesterday!

I am very excited to come once again to downtown’s CircleCraft Market.  It is always a pleasure to be amongst such excellent artisans such as these. This year, there will be over 300 exhibitors. I can’t wait to check out the 70 new ones!

SpaceDot studs, sterling with 24k gold

As usual, I will have with me new Onefooter rings in 18k gold or sterling silver, set with Canadian diamonds or exquisite coloured gemstones. I always do something quirky and a little different happening. This year, I am thrilled to bring you my new-to-the-West-Coast tiny SpaceDot earrings, and also announced the unveiling of a new line! What that new line looks like will remain shrouded in mystery until the show doors open at he Convention Centre West on Wednesday morning at 10am. However, you may have been catching glimpses on my social media such as Facebook or Instagram. I’ll tell you one thing: I have started playing with new natural materials. Ooooh, I am pretty excited; I love it a lot.

The sad news is that, with my apprentice leaving abruptly this Fall, I was able to only complete a handful of the new works. SO: come down early if you want to see what I’ve been up to! Coming early also assures the best possible selection of Onefooter rings (I have not had time to put the new ones on the website – too busy making!)

Beat the ticket line-ups and save money by buying your tickets* ahead of time online, using the discount code CCM at checkout. Also consider visiting CircleCraft with a friend with 2-for-one tickets after 5pm (Wed-Sat). Also good to know that, from 4 pm to 7 pm on Wednesday through Saturday, enjoy $2 off the house beer and wine at the wine bars in the exhibition hall. Just sayin’ … holiday shopping is hard work and needs rewarding.

Show hours are as follows:

Wed November 7 through Fri November 9 – 10AM-9PM
Sat November 10 – 10AM-7PM
Sun November 11 – 10AM-5PM

Do stop by the booth and say Hi, if you already have one of my pieces; always love to chat.

See you there!

* Regular ticket prices are Adult – $15,  Senior (65+) or Student (with ID) – $12,  Groups (10+) – $11. Under 12 – free!

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