Thursday, October 30, 2008

Beautiful yet functional

I have long had an admiration for Fraktur and especially for the Distelfink birds. Fraktur is Pennsylvania German folk art that saw its heyday from 1740 to 1860 and was used to decorate everything from baptismal records to dower chests. They were colorful and folksy renditions of birds, flower, hearts and even people. So when I decided that I needed some Shaker-type boxes to hold my china buttons and silk ribbons, I knew that I'd like to try my hand at doing a Fraktur motif. The box below is finished except for the coat of shellac that will mute the colors quite a bit.

The inspiration for this particular box was this 1785 document on the right.
Distelfink birds are technically goldfinches, but I wanted mine to be a little different so mine are a deep teal blue. I thought that I had a lot of china and glass buttons but as you can see, there is room for many, many more! I acquired most of my antique buttons from Ebay but I recently was given a few hundred mother-of-pearl buttons that were in my Aunt's collection.


  1. Wow! What a fantastic job!!You need to quit your current job and become an artist! lol JK of course...

    I am impressed though....You copied it really well!! You must be thrilled!! I would be.....:)

  2. That is beautiful! You have a very artistic eye!

  3. WOW!! You did a great job, Paris!!


  4. Wow - before I read your post, I thought your box was an antique! You did a beautiful, beautiful job. The colors you chose are magnificent!