How to make soap

Already in the winter times I have read, that in Jungholz there are seminars offered from the society of „Kräuterfrauen“ – herb women. Among the courses is also one about making soap. First we visited the herb garden. Sometimes the participants of the seminar first go collect herbs while walking along the ways. Afterwards they use those herbs for the soaps. Soap making needs some ingredients: First you need different kind of fats. But also lye. The natron for that you can get in the pharmacies. In Austria only with your signature though. So that you don’t use it for other or negative purposes. The hard fats have to be melted. And the lye has to be mixed. As we wanted to make lavender soap a lavender tea has been prepared before. The flowers had been filtered. While stirring the lye gets quickly quite hot. That is one of the

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Kannenbäckerland and its ceramic

The role of ceramic in the Kannenbäckerland cannot be denied. As soon as you leave the highway you see at the roundabout huge jars, vases and pots made out of ceramic. And there are also a lot of every day ceramic objects. House numbers, sign posts, flower pots, sculptures and figures. We have even seen ceramic post boxes. Today there are not as many potterers – or ‚Euler‘ how they are called here – as fifty years ago. But there is still a noticeable amount of them. Up to 60 kilns existed in Höhr-Grenzhausen alone they say. Today there are few and smaller ones. And they are not fired with wood and coal briquets but with gas or electricity. Some old kilns can be seen at different places in the village. It is quite impressive when you can walk into a kiln and event can stand upright in it. Okay.

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The candy manufactory in Wehlen

Right in the middle of the small and romantic village Wehlen you can admire a very old and seldom handicraft: Making candy. Everything in the shop is about candy. A confectioner in the old times must have looked like that. Everywhere there are glasses full of candy or bags with candy in any flavour. Even something like lemon-rosmary. But you may try the candy before buying it. Fair enough! By the way: only natural flavours or essential oils are used. You will taste it! All the candy is made in the shop. You can watch it any time. But at 2 pm and 4 pm there is a fixed production round. Or you just drop by. All day long candy is produced there. The base mass is made out of sugar, water and glucose. It is heated. And it is very important to measure the temperature all the time because otherwise

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The pottery factory in Lagoa

On the Azores island Sao Miguel some might have noticed these beautiful road signs made out of white tiles with a dark blue painting. These tiles you can also find in churches or chapels or on walls of houses where they show complete scenes. If you want to know how they are made you should visit the workshop Viera in Lagoa. Here you can see the nearly the whole production. The clay comes from the island but has to be mixed with water so that it gets the perfect texture. Then the clay goes to the different work stations. At one place it will be cast. Here mostly hollow pieces are formed. After the casting each peace has to be reworked and finished. At the factory you will see hundreds of different forms. At another station clay is formed on a potter’s wheel. Here also wonderful pieces are made like

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Handmade Silkflowers

In Sednitz there is a artificial flower manufactory. For us handicraft fans an absolute must. We are always interested in hands doing something. Until now we have never thought about how artificial flowers are made. Therefore we were very curious to learn more at the manufactory. Directly behind the entrance there is the punch store. We were told that the real artists are the punch maker, because they form the metal punches according to nature. Leafs get here the peculiar form and veins and structures. Around 75.000 punches exist in the manufactory. On the next floor you can watch the ladies, which craft day in day out flowers. The silk or taffeta – sometimes also cotton is used – is starched with gelatine. After that the forms are punched. The machines are very old and make a lot of noise, but they do work! The punched cloth pieces are coloured

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Profession: Stonefinder

Who answers „stonefinder“ at the age of five when asked, what would you like to be when you grow up? The answers will rather be policeman or hairdresser. Not for the family Steiner. They live of stone finding now in the third generation. It all started when the oldest worked in his youth as a shepherd and started also to look for stones. Then he sold the stones to tourists passing by. His son was one day lost at the age of three. And the people looking for him found him sitting in front of a rock with a hammer. This was a clear career aspiration. But it was not alway easy. Climbing to the top of the mountains without shoes, because in former times one walked barefoot from easter until All Hallows. You were also told if you could not walk up the huge steps you could not come

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Wollstadel Bramberg

The Wollstadel is a paradise for wool lovers

The Wollstadel in Bramberg is a paradise for all that are interested in sheepwool and its products. Here you can find wool in any colours but also handmade hats, jackets or special shoes. Felting We were invited to watch and learn about felting. The very fine preparated wool is placed on a model and after that is soaked with soap water. When the form is fixed you can remove the model and start felting by gently rubbing the wool with the soap water. This takes a while. When the piece is strong enough you can decorate it. We choose a capricorne which lives in the region but our star sign is also capricorne. And we added lambs and alpine flowers. Again you have to rub the wool with lot of soap water. Or you roll it with a giant Sushi-Mat. When the felt is strong enough you can rinse it

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